Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup - Recipe

I have done absolutely nothing today except sleep, rest, and look at blogs online.  I had a really bad night of pain and then when I finally did get to sleep this morning, the TV in the other room woke me up.  After shedding a few "sorry for myself" tears, I finally had my hubby help me to the living room where he set me up with my heating pad, computer, my cross stitch, my nook, my Bible, and my hot tea.  I took a (strong) pain pill and was finally able to sleep for awhile.  I'm feeling a bit better now and am now thinking of crochet and other such pursuits! LOL

Yesterday, I decided to make chicken soup and I thought I would share how I do it for you to enjoy.  The great thing about making my soup is that I can do it in stages so I can sit in my recliner as needed.  I also have a stool in the kitchen where I sit when chopping and other such things.  I love being able to provide my family with a yummy, hot meal and they all enjoyed it. 

The first thing you'll need is 4 chicken breasts.  Mine were frozen and so I just put them right in the pan with water and started cooking them. 

Normally, I would also add 1-2 cups of chicken broth (I use the low-sodium), but I didn't have any yesterday, so just used water.  I filled my big pot up with water up to about 2 inches from the top.  While this cooked, I rested, then I came back and cleaned celery

and then chopped it into small pieces.

Now, we like lots of carrots and I buy the huge bag of baby carrots at Costco so I can add them to our roasts, soups or just munch on them.  I started with this

then chopped them into little bite size pieces like this.

There are approximately 3 cups of carrots there, but you could add more or less depending on your taste.

At this point, the chicken breasts were cooked enough that I could dice them so I pulled them out of the pot and put them on a plate. 

Then I put my diced celery and carrots in the broth that the chicken had been cooking in. 

I then diced my chicken in to large, bite size pieces. 

I then returned my chicken to the pot and got one of these out.

This is a medium/large purple onion.  I go through stages where I really enjoy the purple onions and I'm in that stage right now.  I then peeled the onion and then diced it.  I will show you how I dice my onions the easy way and it allows you to have big or little pieces depending on what you're wanting. 

First cut your onion in half like this

Then take the first half and make cuts down the side.  Here's where you decide how big of pieces you want.  The closer together you make these cuts, the finer the dices.  You don't want to completely cut through the onion to the board but you'll want to almost cut all the way through. 

When you have these cuts into the onion, you'll turn the onion and cut it like this

Again, depending on how close you make these cuts, will determine the size of your diced pieces.  I did both halves of the onion like this.  Now, I wanted rather large pieces for my soup, so when I was done it looked like this.

I then added these to the broth and at this point salted and peppered my broth.  This is to taste, but I probably added 1/4 teasp. of pepper and about 1/2 teasp of salt to this large pot. 

Here's the soup as it's simmering on the stove.  I let it simmer for about 2 hours and then I added 1/4 teasp. of Thyme, 1/4 teasp. of Rosemary, and 1/4 teasp. of Dill. I also added 1/4 cup of Barley, but really, I think it needed 1/2 cup of Barley.   While I let this simmer more, I put on another big pan of water to boil for my noodles.  I cooked my noodles (approximately 2 cups dried noodles), drained them and then added them to the soup. Just a note here to add that as it's simmering you will have to add water as it cooks.  I try to keep the water up to about 1-2 inches below the rim of the pot. When it was all done it looked like this

I then served it with my homemade bread (I try to keep some in my freezer) with butter.  It was a hit!

The great thing about this soup is that it's really good for leftovers and also freezes well.  Sometimes, I will serve half the soup and freeze the rest.  To freeze it and not take up a lot of room, I let the soup cool completely then put it in a labeled freezer zip-loc bag.  I usually double the bags just to be sure soup doesn't go all over my freezer.  When I want to use it, I just thaw it in the fridge and then heat through on top of the stove in a pot again. 

I hope you'll try making this some time and enjoy a bowl! 

God bless you - Julie

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