Thursday, March 3, 2011

Soup du jour

Perhaps it just that time of the year, [or maybe that last night Mexican takeout we ordered] but Thom and I were feeling a bit under the weather today.  And to remedy that problem, I made some chicken noodle soup.  From scratch.  All by my under-the-weather-self.  :'-[  <--Sad emoticon to evoke sympathy.

To me, soup always held that special healing power that could lift spirits, warm empty stomachs and hold all my favorite savory ingredients in a nice medley of flavors.  It's also a wonderful comfort food that many tend to gravitate to when sick and I just happened to have all the key ingredients on hand at the apartment.

And to me, it doesn't really matter the kind of soup, as long as it is a soup, it always holds high regards in my books.  Vegetable, white bean and ham, soft tofu, hot pot, Pho...  I could undoubtedly wax-poetic on a Cup O'Noodles.

Anyway, here's my recipe on homemade chicken noodle soup:

To start with, I cut up some key ingredients to add to the sustenance of the soup: celery, onion and carrots.  I also added some minced garlic that I had stashed in the 'fridge.

I defrosted some frozen chicken wings and tenderloins that I had kept in the freezer.  (Most people use whole chickens or half chickens which give a nice blend of savory dark and plentiful white meat but you can use what you have available.)  While the meat was defrosting, I sauteed the veggies in olive oil until soft.  About 10 minutes.

To prepare the broth, I used powdered chicken broth [for the first time] and followed the instructions to make up 2 quarts of broth.  I added a bay leaf and some dried parsley.  Once the veggies were soft, I added them to the pot along with the defrosted chicken.  I brought it all up to a boil and then set it on low for a nice rolling simmer.  I placed the lid on the pot and let the chicken cook for about an hour and a half.  (Cook a bit longer if you're using a whole/half chicken.)

Afterward, I used tongs to take the chicken out of the broth to de-bone and shred.  I placed the chicken back into the pot and added 3/4 of a bag of No Yolk Extra Broad Egg Noodles.

Once the noodles were cooked, I cut up some sourdough bread and ladled out a nice hot bowl of soup.  [Sorry, no photos of said bowl of soup.  I was waaaaay to greedy/excited to eat.]

Since there are only two of us living together, most of the time I have to put leftovers in Tupperware and freeze until another day.  But really it's perfect because trying to cook everyday is a hard task to undertake.  (Kudos to my mother!)  I also placed the leftovers in serving sized containers so that I'll be able to take out only what I need to in the future.  [Pat on the shoulder for thinking ahead!]

Next time, if I remember, I'll be sure to buy some box broth.  I don't mind using powdered chicken broth or even bouillon cubes, but that weird bright neon-like yellow was a bit too striking for me.  Beyond that, the soup was perfect and really hit the spot!

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