We've officially entered fall when the leaves are changing and a chill fills the air.
Fall is my favorite time of year. I actually welcome the weather change from hot and humid to chilly and breezy. One of the best parts of fall is the change in cooking and recipes from light meals to hearty chili, soups and stews. You know, meals that help to create a cozy, comfortable setting at home.
Over the years, I've made a lot of chicken noodle soups. I finally decided on a better way to make chicken noodle soup -- using a whole chicken and keeping things very simple. This is a good recipe for a weekend meal. As you are running around doing errands on a Saturday afternoon, your soup can be simmering away on the stove. If you want, you can make this in a crockpot set on low over 3-4 hours.
In this recipe, you are making the stock or base of the soup with the whole chicken and then using it right away to make the soup. This provides much better flavor than using storebought stock.
Chicken Noodle Soup
In a large stock pot, add the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, and thyme. Add the water. Place over medium high heat. Bring up a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium low. Periodically srape off any "scum" that floats to the top (see pictures below for what I'm talking about). Simmer for about 2-3 hours or until the chicken is done.
Carefully remove the chicken from the stock and place in a bowl. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing the meat from the bones. Strain the stock; discard the solids and save the liquid. Pour the liquid into a stock pot. After the chicken has cooled and you've removed the meat from the bones, bring the stock up to a simmer over medium high heat. Add the chicken meat and the noodles. Season to taste with salt and pepper; add red pepper flakes for a little heat if desired. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the noodles are tender and cooked. Serve with bread or crackers.
Soup will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Freeze any leftovers for up to 6 months.