World's Best Chicken Soup
Is it more labor intensive to make chicken noodle soup from scratch than, say, to open a can of Campbell's and add some water?
Is it totally, life-alteringly worth it?
First, pull some homemade chicken stock out of the freezer. We always try to have some on hand, especially in the winter. Just save your chicken bones and make some (the link has more specifics). You really do get your money's worth out of a whole chicken — a couple of meals plus stock. You could use store-bought broth in a pinch, but using your own is richer, and you can control the herbs and salt content.
Next, finely dice a (garden fresh or winter storage) carrot, leek, and turnip. And don't wrinkle your nose at turnips — they are what I am now calling soup potatoes. Fall turnips are pretty sweet, and they hold their texture way better than a potato in a soup. They’re totally superior, and that lets you save your potatoes for something else.
Bring the stock to a boil in a big pot and add the cut-up veggies. Boil until tender, which takes about as long as the next step.
Next step: You need to make the noodles from scratch. You could skip this step and still end up with a great soup, but fresh pasta elevates it to a work of art, and if you try it, you'll never go back to making it any other way.
You can check out a recipe for fresh pasta here — it's a great way to use up eggs, by the way. Just use the smallest noodle cutter you have and cut them fairly short.
Once your noodles are cut, add them to the boiling pot and cook them for just two minutes — tiny, fresh noodles are super-duper fast.
Ladle it up and you're done! This is a perfect winter food, and we didn't even put any chicken in it (although you certainly could dice up leftover chicken to add to it if you want — that's delicious too. But when all your ingredients are top-notch, you don't miss the chicken at all if you don't have any.
If you are skeptical, Kirk says that all told it takes only 20-30 minutes to make. That's longer than heating up a can of something, but definitely worth the extra time. Over the winter we were starting to feel a little limited in our veggies, but this soup always felt like an absolute treat.
It might be one of the only things I end up missing about the winter.