Its getting to be that time of year again, when everyone’s craving warm, hearty meals. And it also happens to be flu season, as I so unfortunately found out yesterday 😦 So my mom, in all her loving motheriness (yes, I just made that up) was kind enough to run by the store for me yesterday as I was too sick to even think about operating a car, and pick up the ingredients to make what I consider to be the best chicken noodle soup on the planet. The best thing about this recipe though? Is it can be adapted to suit the tastes of even the most pickiest of eaters. So without further adieu:
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds will be MORE than enough)
1 brown or yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, diced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Minced garlic, to taste
Small pasta of your choosing
1. Cover entire chicken in salt, pepper, and garlic. Place in large stockpot.
2. Dice all vegetables and add to stockpot with chicken. Cover with salt, pepper, and garlic again.
3. Add water to stockpot until chicken is covered. Smash both bouillon cubes and sprinkle over chicken.
4. Cover stockpot with a lid and place over high heat. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to low simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
6. Remove chicken from stockpot and place on a plate. Allow to cool in the fridge for one hour. Leave stock and vegetables in the stockpot on the stove, but turn off the heat. Cover with lid.
7. After the chicken has cooled for 1 hour, remove skin from chicken and throw away. Pull chicken meat off the chicken carcass, shred to desired size, and place in the stockpot with stock and vegetables.
8. When you are ready to serve the soup, bring water to boil in a separate pot then salt the water and add half the package of whatever pasta you chose. I prefer bow tie pasta, but you can use whatever you prefer. Cook pasta for 1-2 minutes longer than the recommended cooking time, then drain and add to stockpot. Cooking it longer than recommended stops the pasta from soaking in all the stock.
Chef’s notes: I usually serve this with a french or sourdough baguette and butter/margarine. If you don’t eat all of it, go ahead and save it. I’m not a fan of reheated foods, but this makes an excellent lunch the next day, or if your family is having a flu run, its great to have on hand so you don’t have to cook all that much. Also, don’t be afraid to season. I know most people don’t like overly salty food, but most of it WILL cook away in the process, so don’t be afraid of the seasoning. As most anyone will be more than willing to tell you, I’m not the best cook on the planet, but Joe couldn’t stop telling me how good this soup was. He even went back for seconds, which never happens.