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Monday, September 14, 2009

Chicken noodle soup

Ok, I have to be honest this is more of a method than a recipe. The nice thing about soup is it is really difficult to ruin it - unless you burn it and there is no rescue that I can find for scorched soup. If you know of one, let me know please.

Anyway, since the whole family wanted to come down with (or fight) some sort of respiratory illness (kids had "the crud", Hubby has sinus issues, and I am trying to come down with the crud) I thought it was the perfect opportunity for Chicken Noodle Soup.

Junior thought it was a horrible idea until I let him help me decide what to put in it.

So here is what we did:

Drop a chicken in a pot and cover with boiling water. You can use the bones off a left-over chicken or cook a whole chicken or what ever you want to do. I used the left-over chicken from a roasted chicken I had made and since there was not as much meat as I wanted, I threw in some chicken breasts.

Boil until done. Then remove the meat from the broth and let it cool until you can touch it without your fingers melting off.

To the broth you add the veggies you like. I always use onions, carrots and celery and then add whatever else I feel like. As for how much, it depends on how much you like and how much soup you are making.

This last time it was 3-5 celery sticks, 3-5 carrots, 2-3 onions and then I added a whole head of garlic, 3-4 potatoes, 2 heads of broccoli (Junior's suggestion) and a bunch of turnip greens (I gave Junior a choice of spinach, collards, mustard or turnip greens. I have no idea why he chose turnip). And put all of that in the pot with the broth - except the greens, I held those back a bit longer.

While waiting for the veggies to cook, I removed the meat from the chicken. And tasted the soup. The soup needs more salt than you would think and when you have it nearly salty enough you know what else to soup needs. I think this time I only added salt.

When the soup was nearly ready, I poured in the noodles (you could use gluten-free noodles, make noodles that are gluten free or do rice), the greens and let cook a few more minutes - until the noodles were done.

Then as I was serving, I poured a bit of half-and-half into each bowl to make it creamier. It wasn't necessary but it was good.

OH YUM!! It was just about perfect for me and the kids - for Hubby it was at the point where he could add some hot sauce to give it the bite he wanted. But the only difficulty is that I had a lot of soup. No seriously a lot. With that many veggies, we had a lot of leftovers. I could have frozen half of it. or two-thirds.

Ok, so here are the really hard rules with soup.

1. If you don't like it, don't add it. Junior hates mushrooms so no mushrooms (even though they would make it goooood. He has also decided he hates corn (insert eye roll) so no corn either.

2. Add the stuff you do like. If you like corn, then add it. If you like rutabaga then add it.

3. Taste it, and don't be afraid to add stuff to the pot. Most things with soups can be fixed or hidden - but not if it is scorched.

4. Umm that's it. Soup isn't hard.

Soup is so customizable!

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