(Leftover) Chicken Noodle Soup

Although you might not know it from the 20-degree weather we’re having up here in Toronto right now, soup season is definitely around the corner. Warm, comforting, delicious, seriously portable – soup is one of my favourite things about a long winter.

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Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

Of course, as with anything, you could take the humble bowl of soup and turn it into a pricey dish indeed. Organic veg, expensive spices, buying pre-made stock – that all adds up. Or you bypass making it at all and shell out money for a premade version from a carton. But, I’m a firm believer that you almost always have the makings of a good soup lurking somewhere in your kitchen, and that’s where this recipe comes from.

This one’s a classic of course – chicken noodle soup. Curer of colds, protein blast, and bringer of fresh lemony goodness. It’s a complete meal in a bowl, and it’s just so satisfying.

I always make my chicken soup from leftovers. Whenever we buy one of those rotisserie chickens (which, btw, in our neck of the woods works out cheaper or the same price as buying one of our own and roasting it) I know we’re never going to get through the whole chicken. So I always have the same plan: soup. The recipe is a little vague for that reason, but the joy of this kind of meal is you can make it a little bit different every time.

Ingredients

Shredded chicken meat, off the bone. If you have a chicken but are not ready to make soup yet, pop it in the freezer and come back to it.

Chicken carcass for stock (*if available)

Vegetable peelings for stock (see stock recipe here)

4 large carrots

1 large onion

2 tbsp Olive oil

Water

Generous serving of egg noodles

Herbs de provence

Lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Make your stock base. I really recommend making from scratch if you can – not only does it save on buying expensive store bands, but in such a broth heavy soup it really does make the difference. By using the chicken carcass and vegetable peelings, you’ll get a rich earthy stock that you just can’t replicate from store bought in my experience. I throw the chicken carcass, veg peelings, salt, and fill a large dutch oven with water. Simmer on a low heat, with the lid on, for a minimum of 30 mins.
  2. While your stock is simmering away, dice your carrots and onion into small chunks. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and then add the onions. Simmer until browning, and then add the carrots. Cook until the carrots are just turning soft.
  3. Drain your stock so that you separate the broth from the bones and peelings. You can discard these now. Return the stock to your dutch oven or large pan. Check for flavour and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Add your shredded chicken, carrots and onions, herbs de provence (or other herbs of choice), and a splash of lemon juice to the stock. Bring up to the boil and then keep at a low simmering heat. Allow to cook covered for approx. 40 minutes (check to see how tender the meat and vegetables are – cook to your taste).
  5. Once the soup is basically ready, add the egg noodles to this dish. Allow to cook, uncovered, for another 7-10 minutes or until the noodles are soft.
  6. When it comes time to serve I love to add another (generous) splash of lemon juice to each bowl. I’m a lemon fiend. I find it really adds to the brightness of the meal.

The joy of this kind of meal is you can really make it fit to what you have in your fridge and cupboard. No carrots but a ton of celery – great, throw that in! Got a left over sprig of rosemary that’s looking a bit sad – now it has a purpose!

This dish is also great left over – be aware depending on how much fat was on your chicken it may congeal/ solidify slightly in the fridge, but will be fine when reheated. The soup can also freeze nicely and be kept for future food emergencies.

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