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Monday, April 24, 2017

Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup


2-3 teaspoons of cooking oil
2 cups of onion, diced (about 1 large)
2 cups of carrots, thinly sliced (4 medium carrots)
2 cups of celery, diced (5-6 stalks)
1 whole chicken, pre-cooked (rotisserie or smoked)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
6 cups of chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
1 package of Reames® Frozen Egg Noodles (12 oz), cooked separately
1/4 cup of flour*
4 tablespoons of butter*
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)
*Note: If you don't want the soup thick, omit the flour + butter step (to make the roux) and just pour the heavy cream directly into the soup.
Recommended Equipment
stockpot (I used my enameled cast-iron French oven)
cutting board
grater (for the cheese, if using)


Peel and dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots into thin rounds, and then dice the celery. Reserve any veggie scraps from making homemade stock later. Place a stockpot over medium heat, add the cooking oil, let it warm for a minute, then add the onion, carrot & celery. Season with salt + pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. This is called "sweating" the veggies, which will draw out more flavor.
Meanwhile, start heating up a separate pot of water (or stock) for the noodles. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove the breast meat from the chicken and place in the fridge (we're adding it back in at the end). Add the garlic, dried thyme, and bay leaf. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, take the whole chicken and set it in the pot. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes (covered or uncovered).
Around the time that you stick the chicken in the pot (or whenever the water starts boiling), go ahead and cook the noodles according to the packaged instructions (I cooked mine for about 23 minutes since I like them a little softer), then drain and set aside.
Chop the parsley and thyme and juice the lemon, then set those aside. After the chicken's been in there for 30 minutes or so, carefully remove the whole chicken with tongs. Using a slotted spoon or another utensil, thoroughly check the broth for any bones, cartilage, or skin that might have fallen off, and remove any you find. Set the chicken aside to cool for a few minutes before taking off all the meat and shredding it into bite-sized pieces.
In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, slowly add the flour a little at a time, whisking/stirring constantly to incorporate it into the fat. Once that's all in, keep whisking and let it cook for 2 minutes, then slowly pour in the heavy cream a little at a time, while again whisking constantly, until everything is smooth.
Using a ladle, slowly stir in about 1-1/2 cups of broth from the soup, until the roux is quite thin. This will help to prevent it from clumping when we add it to the soup. Pour the mixture from the skillet into the stockpot and stir well until fully incorporated (there shouldn't be any lumps).
Add the shredded chicken and cooked noodles, followed by the lemon juice, turmeric powder, parsley, thyme, and black pepper. Stir well and taste the soup. Add more salt, pepper, thyme, or parsley to suit your taste. The soup will thicken as it sits, so serve immediately to keep it a bit thinner or wait 15-20 minutes for a thicker soup. Top with Parmesan cheese and extra fresh parsley, thyme & black pepper, and serve with toasted buttered bread, if desired.
The soup will thicken up considerably by the next day as the noodles absorb the liquid so you may need to add a bit of extra stock when reheating the leftovers (we didn't need any).

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