They say that Chicken Noodle Soup is good for the soul. This is my first winter testing out the homemade version and I already whole-heartedly agree. First of all, it couldn’t be easier to make such a healthy and satisfying meal for my family. More importantly, Hannah LOVES to eat the chicken and fresh veggies. Finding the time to cook with two little ones is not alway easy, so I decided to bring my little assistant into the kitchen with me. Overall, she was an enthusiastic sieu chef. She also performed the royal tasting duties to ensure that the ingredients were safe to eat! I demonstrated how to peel carrots and gave her a peeler. Over time, we’ll work on making that her job.
This recipe is far from perfect, but I like to serve it to Hannah as a finger food with just a little bit of broth. It’s perfect for her because it is light on the salt and heavy on the veggies. I love to watch her eagerly pick up the pieces and announce “NOM!” with every bite.
1 Whole Chicken
8 Cups Water
6 Stalks of celery (or, use lots of the smaller stalks and reserve the large pieces for snacks)
4 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, diced
1/2 Pound Rotini Pasta Noodles
Chop carrots, celery, and onion into 1/4 inch pieces. Dice the garlic. Combine all ingredients, except noodles, in a large pan or slow cooker. For a slow cooker, simmer on low heat for 6-8 hours. If using a dutch oven, bring to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 2 hours. Remove the chicken, then skin and discard the bones and fat from the chicken. In the meantime add noodles to the broth to cook for 20 to 60 minutes depending on the cooking method. Dice the chicken and add it back to the soup. Store in quart sized reusable containers and freeze any portions that won’t be eaten within 3 days.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/slow-cooker-chicken-noodle-soup-198707
The thing I’m learning about soup is that it’s a great way to use up anything in the fridge. Don’t let veggies go bad, instead make a broth or chili. Freeze extra chicken to include in your next batch of soup. On the other hand, when you cook a chicken like this, you can reserve some for other dishes like quesadillas. Let your creativity guide conscientious food use in the kitchen!
For those who have been following this blog, I’m happy to report that we are now composting. We started reserving scraps over the Holiday and received a new compost bin on Christmas day from my in-laws. Making this soup, reserving the peels for a veggie stock, and then sending everything out to the compost bin where it will ultimately help enrich the soil in our garden this summer was a huge boost for the soul. The meals I make may not always be pretty, but from now on they will be hearty and thoughtfully prepared.
This is a recipe I will be proud to pass down through generations in my family (even if they do add extra salt.)