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Homemade Chicken Soup

February 27, 2009

It seems that everybody in my office at work is sick.  The marketing department sounds like a symphony of sniffs and coughs.

When I’m sick, the thing I always crave is my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup.  And it can only be my mom’s chicken soup.  No other version will satisfy me.  In fact, I’ll probably just refuse to eat it.  I HATE canned soup.  The broth is just no where near as good as homemade stock, and you cannot control the seasonings that go into it (there’s always turmeric in it which I despise).

Once, when I was home sick as a child, I asked my mom to make me some chicken soup.  She obliged, but when I tasted it, I knew that something wasn’t right.  I told my mom that the broth tasted “funny” and that I didn’t like it.  My mom had to admit that she’d tried to take a short cut by using canned stock.  Since then, I have discovered one brand of organic chicken stock that does not have turmeric in it; although this is still not good enough for my chicken soup, it is perfectly adequate for soups such as hot and sour soup in which the taste of the broth is masked by other strong flavours.

I know that there are all sorts of fancy ways to make stock so that it comes out perfectly clear and deliciously flavourful.  However, mine (or rather my version of my mom’s) is very simple and usually not perfectly clear.  But when you’re sick, who feels like making something that is time consuming? My chicken soup can be made in a little over 30 minutes.

The warmth, comfort and nutrients of this soup never fail to make me feel better.

Ingredients

  • Chicken (I usually use a couple of thighs, but pretty much anything will work including a carcass from a leftover roast chicken)
  • 1 T or so of butter
  • 1 good sized carrot chopped into finger sized pieces (or smaller if you intend to eat them — I always pick them out, so bigger chunks are easier)
  • 1/4 C peas (I usually use frozen — fresh ones are too good for soup!)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 C Lima beans
  • 1 1/2 – 2 C Egg noodles
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Onion Powder to taste
  1. Season the chicken, melt the butter in the bottom of a large soup pot, and brown the chicken briefly (if you’re using chicken that has already been cooked, skip this step).
  2. Cover the chicken with water and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. The chicken should be cooked now, so remove it and cut the meat up and return it to the pot.
  4. Taste the broth and season to taste.  I usually add a good amount of salt, as well as a little pepper and onion powder.  This really varies depending on how much flavor the chicken has given to the broth.
  5. Ad carrots, peas, lima beans and egg noodles and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

* The amounts of veggies that you add can vary according to taste.  I always add extra lima beans because I like them.  I’ve also started to add small florettes of cauliflower if I have it.

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