Now that fall is upon us, we’ll have cool, rainy days: the perfect time for some hot chicken soup. And with fall colds coming around, chicken soup can at least make you feel better, even if it has no real curative properties.
It takes 2-3 hours to make a good chicken soup, but most of that time is just letting the pot simmer. There is probably less than 15 minutes of actual work. All you need is a whole chicken and some vegetables, noodles and spices. We got our whole chicken at Village Market and the leeks came from our garden.
- 1 whole 3-1/2 lb chicken
- 4 qt water, in an 8 qt pot
- 2 Tb salt
- 4 carrots
- 3 medium onions
- 4 stalks celery
- 1-2 leeks, depending on size
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp thyme
- 8 peppercorns
- 6 cloves
- ½ lb egg noodles
- Cut the chicken into serving pieces. If you start with a whole chicken, cut off the backs as separate pieces. If you buy a cut up chicken, cut the back of the edges of the breast and leg pieces.
- Put the chicken into the water in a large pot, add the salt, and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked pretty well.
- Remove the drumsticks, thighs and breasts and allow them to cool. Cut off the meat and set aside in a bowl in the refrigerator.
- Add the bones back into the soup.
- Peel 2 carrots and add to the soup, along with 2 stalks of celery, and 2 peeled, whole onions, and the leek, cut up.
- Add the thyme, bay, peppercorns and cloves.
- Cook covered for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until all the meat has fallen from the bones.
- Remove the bones, meat and vegetables and discard.
- Cut up the reserved chicken meat and add to the soup.
- Peel the remaining carrots. Chop the remaining celery and onion.
- Saute the vegetables in butter until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Add to the soup.
- Cook the chicken and vegetables in the soup for 15 minutes.
- Add the noodles and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and small pieces of the green part of a leek. Serve immediately with fresh bread, such as Wave Hill bread.
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