I have a special place in my heart for canned soup. But since I’ve been cooking from scratch more often, my preservative tolerance is lower. Canned soups now taste so salty… because they are, unfortunately. I’ve been perfecting my chicken noodle recipe over the years and I think I’ve got it just right now.
First… the chicken. I use a boneless skinless thigh. Just one to make 4 servings. My husband and I each eat two bowls, so if you are only serving this soup, make more for more people. Thighs render great tasty drippings for cooking your vegetables and boneless and skinless is so convenient. Bonus, they’re typically cheaper than breasts.
Next the vegetables. Mirepoix, which is fancy and French for onion, celery, carrot. (We read a lot of Fancy Nancy in our house.) I’m using ¼ of a large yellow onion that I slice pole to pole, 1 large carrot (though sometimes I like more) sliced, and 2 stalks of celery chopped small.
Broth – I use homemade almost always. Actually, I wait to make soup until I have homemade broth usually. Sometimes I want soup, but I don’t have broth so I plan to roast a whole chicken… for the broth and less for the meat.
Noodles – Stumbled on using rotini instead of egg noodles. We love egg noodles, but with rotini I can cook them al dente (by 3 minutes undercooking, and by the time I stir back in the chicken and seasonings and serve, it’s perfect and what’s left in the pot doesn’t overcook. Plus the starch gives a great natural thicker mouth feel to the soup. I’m using 6 oz (1/2 the bag) to only 4 cups of broth, so our chicken noodle soup is heavy on the noodles, like my husband likes. It’s almost more a pasta in chicken sauce than a soup.
Flavoring – I want the balance of flavor the 5Ss bring in almost everything I make. Sweet – ½ t sugar, Salty – I salt the chicken thigh before browning, I salt the vegetables as they cook down, and I salt again when I taste. Sour – I add about 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice when the noodles cook. Spice – Louisiana hot sauce, just a few dashes. Savory – Granulated garlic in the last 10 seconds of cooking the vegetables before adding in my broth.
Herbs – Fresh parsley is so pretty mixed in and sprinkled on top for garnish. I also use celery leaves too. Waste-free kitchen.
Happy Soup Season!