Best Chicken Noodle Soup
Soup is my go-to for a dinner that will hold for a while. My husband, Brian, travels frequently, so I like to prepare soup ahead of time and then make a Jarlsberg grilled cheese sandwich as an accompaniment when he finally arrives home. This week, we flew our middle son, Riley, home from college to celebrate his 19th birthday as a fun surprise. As luck would have it, Riley and Brian both got in on Thursday night at the same time to the Charlotte airport. Perfect!
Best Chicken Noodle Soup
- Organic cut-up chicken (Don't skimp here, the flavor is better)
- 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I like Dei Fratelli)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- Several glugs of olive oil
- Small bag of baby yellow potatoes (If too large, cut in half)
- 1/2 lb. French green beans
- 4 Carrots
- 4 Stalks Celery
- 2 Zucchini
- Small bag of frozen corn (Fresh is great too!)
- Small bag of frozen peas (Fresh is great too, Trader Joes has the best)
- Handful of fresh spinach
- 16 oz. Egg noodles
- Chicken stock
- Chicken bouillon
- 1 lb. Ground beef
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 Egg
- 2 Slices bakery bread
- 1/2 Cup milk
- Fresh Thyme, Basil, and Rosemary
Okay, full disclosure, this soup is more like a chicken vegetable soup with noodles. I really like my soups to be a meal and it is a great way to get my kids more vegetables in their diet, so I use whatever vegetables I find at our local farmer's market. I like to use a whole cut-up chicken when I make stock because it is easier to test for doneness. Place the chicken in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the chicken parts. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add in 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery. Cook about 40+ minutes, check on the breasts after about 30 minutes and remove if done. Once chicken is done, remove all chicken parts and let cool. At this point, remove the carrots and celery that you used to flavor your stock and discard.
While the chicken is cooking, saute the potatoes in olive oil and butter. After about ten minutes, add the green beans, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and zucchini. Don't forget to add salt to your veggies as well. I didn't use any carrots in my soup this time because Riley doesn't like carrots. Okay, so I was indulging the college freshman who flew in for the weekend! After checking that the potatoes are cooked with a fork, add in the corn, peas, and spinach and saute for a few more minutes.
Here's the secret for a rich flavor... Pour the canned diced tomatoes into the stock and grab that immersion blender. I truly think this step is what makes the soup so good. The diced tomatoes add both a nice color to the stock and enrich the flavor. After emulsifying the tomatoes, I check the stock for flavor. Usually, it is necessary to add in a bit of bouillon to intensify the flavor. I also round out with some chicken stock if I need a bit more broth. Again, test the stock for flavor after each addition.
In a small bowl, mix your ground beef, two slices of good quality bakery bread, egg, milk, salt, and pepper. Mix together with your hands. Add in a good handful of Parmesan cheese and mix well. The bread should break down quickly with the addition of the milk. Bring the stock to a boil. Make small meatballs by rolling with your hands and drop in the heated stock. Cover the stock and lower to a simmer. Cook for approximately ten minutes.
Turn off the heat. Your veggies are probably done now and ready to be added to the soup pot. Add in some fresh herbs at this point as well.
I am kind of a freak when it comes to cooking noodles, I use chicken stock instead of water, and I don't add the noodles to the soup, I keep them separate. I know that doesn't make the soup as pretty, but it also doesn't turn the noodles into mush. Noodles are like sponges in soup, so if you want al dente noodles and yummy broth, don't add them into the soup pot. Place them in the bottom of each bowl and ladle your yummy soup on top.
Once the chicken is cooled, pull it apart and throw it in the soup pot as well. Enjoy, you have made the very best chicken soup!
My favorite bouillon!
My favorite immersion blender!