Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homemade Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup

A couple of days ago I whined about our 92 degree weather and the long, dry spring and summer we have endured. Apparently my mother was wrong -- whining does help. Today it's 60 degrees outside and rainy. ;o)

As a result of this deliciously cool and wet weather, I am in a cooking/baking/canning mood. I canned 12 more jars of applesauce this morning, then I made some homemade noodles for some chicken noodle soup. This afternoon I prepared the soup, made some blueberry muffins, and baked an apple crisp. Mother nature isn't the only one that benefits from cooler weather -- my husband does too. (I rarely cook when it's hot.)

I thought I'd share my "Homemade Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup" recipe with you. Ordinarily, chicken noodle soup isn't my favorite. I like rich and creamy soups, but this particular recipe is one I've tweaked over the years, and the few changes I've made have made a big difference in flavor. It could actually be considered more of a "chicken stew" in that it satisfies the appetite more and has heartier ingredients than a typical chicken broth. I never worry about how much of each ingredient I use. I just use the ingredients listed, and if I make it one time with a little more of this or a little less of that, it doesn't seem to matter!

Ok, so here are my secret ingredients that make my Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup a little different than most. First of all, when I make this chicken noodle soup, I make my own noodles. Not only are they a cinch to make, but homemade noodles are a little thicker and heartier than store-bought, so the homemade variety add a little bulk to the soup. In addition, I dice up and add a sweet potato or yam. The sweetness of the sweet potato adds an element that is fabulous! Third, I use "Imagine Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth." This chicken broth is by far the best I've ever tried. I also add zucchini and yellow squash,which might be a little unusual. Anyway, below are all the ingredients. I will add amounts for each of the items, but remember -- that's just a suggestion! If you're not a fan of sweet potatoes or squash dice them very small, and try them anyway. You won't really taste the them individually, but you'll probably appreciate the combination of flavors.

Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup

2 chicken breasts** 
1 carrot
1 small can of shoepeg or white corn
1 celery stalk
1 small onion
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow or crookneck squash
1 yam or sweet potato
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sage
garlic salt to taste
salt & pepper to taste
1 or 2 Imagine Free Range Organic Chicken Broth
homemade noodles (recipe below)
**Turkey can be substituted.

Make the noodles and set them aside. Dice chicken in 3/4" squares and saute with a little olive oil in large pot. While the chicken is cooking prepare your veggies. I dice my veggies into very small cubes. As you can see below the diced veggies are just slightly bigger than the shoepeg corn...

Set cooked chicken aside. Add a little more olive oil to your pot and saute all the veggies until they are slightly cooked. Add chicken and chicken broth to the pot. Add spices, garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste. Let soup simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes, then add the noodles and let the soup simmer for 30 more minutes.  

Homemade egg noodles:
Combine 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add enough sifted flour to make stiff dough, about 1 cup. Roll very thin on floured surface; let stand 20 minutes. Cut with a pizza cutter into 1/4 inch by 3 inch strips.  The noodles can be air dried by draping them on a plastic coat hanger for several hours. This alleviates the problem of the noddles clumping together because they are too moist. The beauty of making your own noodles is that it produces a noodle that is a little thicker (thus heartier) and a little bit dumpling-like. Love 'em! Below are some noodles just before I added them to the soup...

Here's the finished product -- a chicken concoction filled with delightful summer veggies and topped off with some big, fat egg noddles to give it a little bulk. Just the thing for a cool fall day...