Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup from Scratch with Handmade Pasta Noodles


 Chicken Soup:
I can't tell you how much I crave a delicious bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. I was inspired to create this recipe after living in Utah and frequently ordering a bowl of Brick Oven's Chicken Noodle soup which was just down the street. Now 12 years later, I think I have it just where I want it to be. Don't be intimidated, it is easier than you think and pretty soon you will be able to whip up a hearty bowl for your whole family. Just pick the options that meets your needs or try a new version and see the difference.  This is also good with Turkey!


Step # 1 Prepare Chicken


Chicken Options:

1 Whole chicken- Roast it or buy a pre-roasted one. Shred off the meat and refrigerate.

or

3-4 Medium Chicken Breasts-

Bone-In Chicken Breasts- Broil or Baked (click here to see how I do it)


Only have frozen or fresh Chicken breasts?

Frozen Chicken breasts- Place3-4 Chicken breasts into stock pot and fill about half way. Bring it to a low boil and cook until chickens are done. Remove chickens from water. Shred chicken and refrigerate. Save your water for the soup!

Fresh Chicken breasts- Broil (click here to see how I do it), grill, baked or boil (as mentioned above). Cube and refrigerate.

Step # 2 Soup Base

Why make a soup base when I already have a stock?

First of all, this recipe is for a soup base which is different from a stock. Plus, I have two reasons why I prefer a soup base over a simple stock. One, I like more flavor without having to add more salt and two, I like a good hearty base which is full of nutrients and more filling so I don't feel like I have to eat more noodles to feel satisfied than I would with a thinner base.  However, you can always skip this step and go straight to step #3.

MAKE A SIMPLE SOUP BASE 
Ingredients:
No chicken stock? Use 4 Tablespoons of Chicken Soup Base (or Bouillon) with 4 quarts of water
  • 2 Fresh Carrots, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 Fresh Celery with leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 1-2 Fresh Leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 Fresh onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Fresh Sprig or 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sage
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried Dill Weed (optional but wonderful)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Curry Powder (optional but wonderful)
  • 2 cloves of minced Garlic or Dried
  • Leftover Chicken fat or Oil to tenderize the vegetables and keep chicken from drying out. (optional if you didn't leave some in your stock)
Directions:
Add all ingredients to water or stock and bring to a boil. Then, simmer for 20 minutes or until all vegetables are softened. Blend into a liquid base. You can do this with an immersion blender, put into a upright blender or your food processor. If you take it out, add back to pot when blended.
Step # 3- Add Bulk Vegetables
  • 4 Carrots- cleaned, peeled, and chopped into bite sizes.
  • 4 Celery Hearts- cleaned, peeled, and chopped into bite sizes.

Directions- 
  1. Add bulk vegetables to your completed soup base and allow them to simmer while you make your noodles. 
Forgot to add bulk vegetables before you made your noodles?
Add the bulk vegetables right before you start adding your noodles to boiling soup base and cook with noodles until done. (This option is if you are like me and forget to add the bulk vegetables before you cook your noodles. Your noodles will not get over cooked and mushy (they will retain their shape).

Step #4 - Make Your Pasta Noodles






Pasta Dough:
Flour: about 1-2 cups
Olive Oil: As Needed 
Salt: A dash
Eggs: About 2

What Flour can I use? 
These are country style noodles so, I have not made them with Semolina or Durum wheat flours. I have made my noodles with whole red wheat flour, whole brown wheat flour, whole white wheat flour, and unbleached all purpose flour. I have yet to try it with gluten-free all purpose flour. Just keep in mind that the more hearty the flour, the longer you need to cook it and the more dense and chewy it will be. I personally like the whole white wheat and the whole red wheat and the unbleached all purpose flour. It produces a really tender noodle that soaks in the soup base quite well.
 
Prep:
I like to start with 1 cup of flour and 2 eggs and go on from there. Throw together in a bowl and mix with a spoon or your hands (rub a little olive oil on your hands to keep dough from sticking to your hands)

Knead only until your dough can be formed into a ball.
Cover and let is sit for 15-20 minutes at room temp
(it is not going to rise. Letting it sit will make it more pliable and easy to roll out)


 Step #5- Form Noodles



Roll out dough on a well-floured surface and spread flour on top. Roll up dough and cut into disks to unravel noodles. You can cut them shorter or keep them super long. Re-use the flour by brushing up the flour with your hand and adding it to the soup.


Step # 6- Cook Noodles in Soup Base

This is a photo from back in 2009 when I used to make this soup
without a soup base. Not the same at all!

Bring soup base to a boil. Place noodles a few at a time until all of them are in the pot (adding them all at once can created a big lump of noodles. Cook until desired tenderness (about 10-12 minutes depending on thickness).

They will enlarge a little bit and may even break apart if they are too thin. We like ours super long!

The noodles come out nice and tender. You can't beat homemade noodles.


Step #7- Add Chicken


If you haven't shredded your chicken, take your cooled chicken meat, shred or cube it, and add as the final ingredient. It should warm up almost immediately or in a few minutes because the broth will be hot from cooking the noodles.

Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

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4 comments:

Angi said...

Yummy! It is a good day for soup here in the Pacific NW! The noodles look delicious too.

Rachael and Family said...

making noodles doesnt scare me as much. Im going to try and make my own.

Lori said...

These look fabulous!!! Thanks for posting these.

Cindy Lou Who said...

Beautiful pics, Madeline! I've been making homemade chicken noodle, but don't usually do the base step, with the veggies, for my broth soups. Will have to try that! Thanks!

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