Friday, November 2, 2012

Chicken Soup from Scratch

It's getting colder, which means it's time for soups and stews!  I love making soup for dinner--I get it all prepped during the kids' naptime.  Then it can simmer on the stove until we're ready for dinner, and we don't have that crazy hour before dinner when I'm trying to cook, and E wants my attention, and the baby is crying,and my poor husband walks in the door into chaos.

I like to make chicken soup from scratch, which means that the first three steps you're basically making your own chicken stock.  Then you strain out the bones and make the soup.
When I buy chicken breasts, I get them with ribs attached.  I cut off the breast off for other meals and save the chicken bones/scraps in a ziploc in the freezer.  When the bag is full, I make chicken soup!

The total time for this recipe is about 4 hours--but don't worry, most of the time your soup is simmering and you don't have to do anything.

What you need:  for 10 servings
  • 3 lb chicken bones (one large ziploc full of bones)
  • 2 carrots, cut up
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups cold water
  •  1 sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cup medium noodles
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 2 tsp salt

Let's get cooking:

1.  Combine first 8 ingredients (through water) in a stockpot.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours. 

2.  Place a double layer of cheesecloth in a colander, and place over a large bowl.  Pour the stock through the colander to strain.  Place broth back in the stockpot.

3.  Let everything in the colander cool a little so you can handle it.  Separate out the veggies, chicken bones, and chicken pieces.  Discard the bones.  Place the veggies and chicken pieces (I had about 8 oz) back in the stockpot.

4.  Add the sweet potato to the soup.  Simmer 1 hour, then increase heat and bring to a boil.  Add the noodles and green beans.  Boil until noodles are cooked.


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