Sunday, February 16, 2014

Most-fun-ever chicken noodle soup

It's been cold and snowy, and Kathy has been asking for chicken soup. While she's a big fan of Panera's chicken noodle soup, she hasn't been enthusiastic about my weak and basically flavorless broth. 

Last year when a friend's kitchen was scented with a most heavenly soup, I asked for tips. "Time. Let it simmer until all the goodness is in the broth." The next time I had a chicken carcass, I plopped it in my largest pot with an onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaves and covered it with water. It started in the morning and cooked all day. Hours and hours of simmering led to the best chicken broth I had ever made. Success! 

I hesitated to use this method again because I would need to be home to babysit the stove. I wanted a method with which I could leave the house. Another friend had success with making the stock in a crock pot. Brilliant! 

During our recent big snow storm, we had a roast chicken. After dinner, I set up the slow cooker, turned it on low for fourteen hours, went to bed, and woke up to a most comforting aroma.
Chicken carcass, carrots, onions, sage, peppercorns, bay leaves, water
This same friend with the crockpot idea mentioned making homemade noodles, and what a fun project it was with her daughter. The conversation reminded me that I have a pasta maker in my pantry -- the same one my parents used to make noodles with me when I was little -- that I haven't used for a few years. 

"Taryn, would you like to make pasta with me?" 

Is that a question? 

2 cups of flour, four eggs. Probably more fun to just do this on the counter by hand.
The recipe couldn't be easier with only two some time and effort.

After an hour, divide up the dough. Clamp the pasta machine to the counter, and get started.
The crank turns a pair of rollers that start out about 1/4 inch away from each other. Process the dough by feeding it through the rollers a series of times. Move the rollers closer to each other each time, and eventually the dough is a paper-thin sheet.

Cutting the noodles
Now crank the sheet of pasta through the cutter of your choice. Kathy likes fettuccine sized for her chicken soup.

Noodles hanging out before going into soup
This noodley gadget is useful, but not necessary. My parents would lay the noodles out on dish cloths on the dining room table. I prefer not to do this because I have three curious, mischievous, thieving cats.

Taryn as noodle walrus
We had fun making noodles!
Kathy-approved chicken noodle soup
Final steps for most-fun-ever chicken noodle soup include:
  1. Strain the broth from the solids.
  2. Put the broth in the snow to cool down quickly.
  3. Skim the fat that has risen to the top.
  4. Saute onions and carrots in a big pot, then add broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Let soup simmer until veggies are soft.
  6. Break noodles into 2 inch pieces, add them to the soup. 
  7. Fresh noodles cook fast! After two to four minutes, this soup is ready to serve.
  8. Enjoy!


  1. YUM!

    i just started adding a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the crockpot when i put in the bones. it helps leach out some minerals from the bones, making for a richer broth.

    1. Can you taste the vinegar at all? Would white vinegar work?