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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chicken, Vegetable and Noodle Soup

For our third day of Soup Month 2013, we made some adjustments to the traditional chicken noodle soup by adding more vegetables and chicken and decreasing the noodles.  Starting with homemade stock, this soup is hearty, healthy and oh so good on a chilly fall evening.

The addition of Brussels sprouts was delicious and brought an earthy taste to the soup.  With a light clear broth, its ideal for cold and flu season, which is right around the corner.  If you prefer a thicker soup, you can blend in a cornstarch and water mixture near the end of the cooking time, or you could always add a can of cream of celery soup to provide an even thicker broth.

This soup does include a homemade stock, which takes about an hour to prepare, but the rich flavored broth is well worth the extra work.  If you don't have time to make the stock, you can use 8 cups of packaged stock and about 3 cups of cooked chicken. 

Stock Ingredients
3  Chicken Quarters, skin removed
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 stalk Celery, coarsely chopped
1 small  Onion, coarsely chopped

Soup Ingredients
2 tsp  Olive Oil
1 TB  Butter
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 small  Onion, chopped
1 stalk  Celery, chopped
2 medium  Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pkg  Frozen Brussels Sprouts, defrosted and cut in half
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
12 oz  Pasta of Your Choice - Wide Egg Noodles, Linguini, etc

To prepare the chicken and stock:  Using a large soup pot, add the chicken pieces, onion, and celery  to the pot and fill the pot with water.  Add salt and pepper and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and pulls easily from the bones. 

When the chicken is cooked, transfer the chicken to a platter to cool, then pull the chicken from the bones, set aside and discard the bones.  Strain the chicken stock, discard the cooked vegetables then measure 8 cups of stock and add it back to the pot.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the garlic, onion, celery, carrots and Brussels sprouts to the pan, season lightly with salt and pepper and stir to sauté.  Arrange the sprouts cut-side down so they can sear.  Add the thyme to the mixture, stir and sauté until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the cooked chicken, salt and pepper to the vegetables and stir to combine, and continue cooking until the chicken is warmed.

Bring the pot of stock to a boil over high heat and add the pasta.  Cook the pasta until just al dente, then add the chicken and vegetable mixture to the pot and cook for 5 minutes.  (If you would like a thicker soup you can add a mixture of cornstarch and water to the soup at this point, cook for 5 minutes and the soup will thicken.  One can of cream of celery or cream of chicken soup will also thicken the soup and create a creamy consistency.)  Enjoy!!

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