With all the “bugs” in the air, what is more comforting and nutritious for you than chicken noodle soup. This recipe whips up fast if you prepare the broth ahead. The next best option is to buy a good organic chicken broth and it will be ready on the stove in 15 minutes! I usually use 2-3 boxes.
Chicken soup keeps for days, freezes well, and the boiled chicken can be used for countless other dishes. I will be freezing the leftovers so it is ready to heat in short notice!
2 whole chickens, if available
2 yellow onions, peeled
4 celery ribs, cut in half to fit pot
4 carrots, peeled and cut in half to fit pot
4 parsnips, cut in half to fit pot
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, with stems
4-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
2 cups finely diced carrots
2 cups finely diced celery (use organic if you can as it is one of those vegetables that is listed as most sprayed)
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped for garnish (optional)
2 cups cooked chicken (a rotisserie chicken works too or if making your own broth use the meat off chicken)
1 pound cooked egg noodles
- Make the broth: In a narrow, deep pot just large enough to hold the chickens (about a 10- to 12-quart capacity), place the chickens, onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, and parsley. (Make sure you use a narrow pot rather than a wide one. Otherwise, you may have to use too much water to cover the chickens.) Add just enough cold water to barely cover the chickens (ideally, not more than 5 quarts or 20 cups).
- Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to a simmer (rapidly boiling soup or stock often makes it look cloudy instead of clear) and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. (You’re seasoning here because you want the chicken to have some flavor when you use it later in other dishes. The soup will be seasoned again later.)
- Simmer the broth, uncovered, for at least 3 hours. Season with 2½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. (Taste. If it tastes like chicken, it’s ready. If not, let it cook a bit longer and taste again. It can cook for another hour as long as it is barely simmering, but no more than 4 hours or the chicken will dry out.)
- When the broth is done, turn off the heat, lift the chicken from the pot with slotted spoons or a skimmer, and set them aside in a shallow bowl or baking sheet until cool enough to handle.
- Strain the broth into a clean 6- to 8-quart pot; discard the solids. If not making the soup right away, cool and refrigerate so you can scrape off the solidified fat from the surface before continuing. Otherwise, allow the stock to sit undisturbed for at least 10 minutes and spoon off the fat that rises to the surface.
- Set the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Make the soup: Add diced carrots and celery to the simmering broth, and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if necessary.
- While the vegetables are cooking, pick the meat from the chicken, leaving the pieces as large as possible, and set aside. Discard the bones.