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Friday, January 28, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

So we've been fighting off colds and sinus infections for the past month or so, really since Christmas now that I think about it.  No wonder I haven't posted.  I broke down and made this for a friend who was also sick, and left some for our own family.  It is a GREAT recipe, based off my brother in law's, Matt.  This is not the quick and easy one, it's a soup that's purely a bowl full of simple love.  Everything is from scratch, and using homemade stock really raises it to something special.

If you are thinking ahead, throw together a loaf of Jim Lahey's 18 hour No Knead Bread to serve alongside.  It's the easiest bread I've ever made, and the best.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

4 quarts of warmed chicken stock (homemade is best, I used 2 quarts Whole Foods 365 organic broth, 2 quarts of my own homemade because that was all I had)
8 stalks celery, diced (a note about the chopping, you want everything small enough to fit nicely on a spoon, a large dice is about right)
8 carrots, sliced small or diced
1 large onion, small diced
1 TB olive oil
meat from a roasted chicken, or roast four, bone in, skin on, breasts yourself in olive oil, salt and pepper
noodles (recipe following)
1 tsp. dried thyme, or 1 TB. fresh thyme leaves
1 dried bay leaf
At least 2 tsp. kosher salt, and 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper.  More, to your taste, at the end
1 & 1/4 cup whole milk (or whatever you have)
3 TB corn starch
the juice from half a lemon, or more, see what you think at the end
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Warm the stock.  Cut all your veggies.  Prep the chicken meat.  Make the noodles.  Then, saute the onions in olive oil until translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the carrots and celery, saute for about 5 minutes.  Add in the warmed stock, salt and pepper, bay leaf and dried thyme (don't add the fresh thyme until the end, if you're using that instead).  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes, until carrots are crisp-tender.  Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the milk in a separate small bowl.  Add that to the soup when the carrots etc. are finished, followed by the remaining 1 cup of milk.  Raise heat to medium and bring soup to a boil, add the noodles and cook them for about five minutes.  Add the chicken pieces, lemon juice, and minced parsley (and the fresh thyme, if you used it).  Taste for salt and add more, it will probably need it.  Keep adding salt until all the flavors come into focus, you should taste the veggies and a little lemon.

Homemade Egg Noodles
 2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp. table salt
2 cups flour

In a kitchen aid mixer (or by hand, but it'll be a PAIN) beat the eggs.  Slowly add cream and salt.  Add the flour in about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low until it is completely incorporated.  Divide the dough into two balls.  Roll each ball out on a floured surface until it is very thin.  Slice the dough into tiny strips with a pizza cutter, no longer then 1 inch, as narrow as you can make it.  Keep in mind you want the noodles to sit on a spoon, they will get really fat as they cook.

Sprinkle the noodles on a piece of wax paper and let them dry for about 30 minutes.  I make the noodles before I start the soup, after prepping the veggies and meat.  That way it all comes together pretty quickly once you actually start cooking.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


So it's been a while.  I think it took me two full weeks to recover from Christmas, 14 days until I could lift my head and take a deep breath.  Shameful, really, but that's how it was.  Here are some bullet points on happenings around our house in the last month, in the style of my friend Rebekah, whose blog you should really be reading if you need a good belly laugh.
  • Charlotte learns to crawl like a big girl, her bottom wiggling high in the air as she trucks from room, to room, to room.  She learns how to remove the rubber corner guard on the fireplace and carries it around in her mouth like a dog.
  • Sam goes five consecutive nights without a pull up, in big boy pants.  We celebrate with Cocoa Krispies for breakfast.  The next night he wets through: 1) his jammies 2) the sheets 3) the duvet  4) the down comforter.
  • I do laundry.  Lots of laundry.
  • Charlotte says her first word: "Hhhhhottttt"  I think she has a thing for the fireplace.  She will whisper it quietly to herself, by herself, in the crib.  It is hilarious.  "Daaa deeeee" soon follows.  I try not to be brokenhearted.
  • Sam gets a cold.  Sam gets an ear infection.  Sam hates Augmentin and throws it up twice, one time all over his sister in the bath tub.  Scott gets a sinus infection.  Scott takes Augmentin but does not throw it up.  The boys are now fine.
  • 10 days later Charlotte gets a cold.  Charlotte is on her way to getting an ear infection currently.
  • I make chicken noodle soup from scratch in an attempt to fight off the colds (recipe coming soon, it's a good one from my brother in law)
  • Anna and I go to Vie for the first time.  I have one of the pinnacle dining experiences of my life.  More on that later too.
  • Heavy things are shared by friends this month, things that make my heart ache and cause me to question God and His goodness.  Things that make me wrestle and argue with Him and sad.  But there was a moment, a Wednesday night at rehearsal two weeks ago, where He gave me something.  It felt like His hand was on my shoulder, speaking directly into my heart through the words of the song the choir was singing.  They sang it through for 35 minutes straight, it only took 32 minutes to sink in that this was a message for me: "Rejoice in the Lord always, rejoice!  I will say it again, rejoice.  I will say it again, rejoice."  Over and over and over again.  I cried in the car on the way home, the words lovingly hammered into my heart and mind.  It came down to, what do I believe?  Do I choose to believe God is good?  Even though the circumstances cause me to question and worry and be sad?  I do.  I do choose to believe He is good.  But I am still sad with these friends, January seems to be the month for it.
  • February is just four days away though.