There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of home-made chicken noodle soup to chase away the winter chill. The thing is that I’m a bit paresseuse (a chic way of saying “lazy”) when it comes to cooking. Fortunately, this recipe is simple to make, super tasty, and the left-overs (if there are any) can be frozen and served later. I usually make a batch every Sunday afternoon during the colder months so that we have it as a fallback meal throughout the week.
You’ll need a large Dutch Oven (mine is a 6 3/4 quart size) or other cooking pot for this recipe, which makes up to 12 servings.
- 5-6 chicken breasts (I use bone-in breasts with the skin which I later remove because it adds flavor, but boneless skinless breasts work too)
- extra-light virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 3-4 carrots
- 3-4 celery stalks
- 5-6 quarts of chicken broth (I use the delicious home-made chicken broth from Wagshals Market, but the one in cartons from the grocery store works just as well)
- bay leaves, thyme, and salt to flavor
- egg noodles or any other type of pasta
- dark green leafy kale (optional)
- Add a generous amount of olive oil to the bottom of your pot and place the chicken breasts (skin-down, if applicable) on top. Let them cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it (and if applicable, the skin which will probably have stuck to the bottom of the pan) from the pot and set it aside. Turn the heat down to medium.
- While the chicken is cooking, chop the onions, carrots, and celery. After you remove the chicken from the pot, add the chopped onion. Stir the pieces around the bottom of the pot for about five minutes, or until they turn golden brown.
- Turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the celery, the carrots, and the chicken broth.
- Remove the chicken from the ribs (if applicable) and/or cut the meat into bite-size pieces, Add to the broth and vegetables, along with several bay leaves and sprigs of thyme.
- Let the soup come to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. Remove the bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, and any fat that may have risen to the surface of the soup. Add salt as needed to flavor (my secret ingredient is fleur de sel de Guérande).
- Let the soup cook for about 30 minutes, then add the pasta, and cook for another ten minutes (check the consistency of the noodles from time to time – some cook faster than others). This is also the time to add the kale, which should be shredded by hand into bite-size pieces.
Et voilà – serve and enjoy! Bon Appétit!