Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2 Secrets For The Best Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

I got home from work to find a sick Ira swaddled in layers of blankets begging for chicken soup. A hot bowl of soup can make all the difference when you're sick so I knew I couldn't refuse, even though my favorite guilty pleasure was going to start in 20 minutes.

Did I miss my show. No! I was able to get this started before showtime and finish up during the commercial breaks. Amazing? Not really, I just know the tricks.

My top two tips for a quick hearty soup:
  1. Awesome Chicken Stock:

    A nice potent chicken stock is really easy to make and so much better then anything you can buy. You can make soup with canned broth, but it won't taste as good. We're not cooking this soup for very long, so if the stock/broth is weak, the soup is going to be bleh. Stock is easy to make ahead and freeze. I always keep some on hand. Microwave it for 5 minutes to defrost and bam, you've got broth that's basically good to go.

  2. Spaetzle Noodles:

    Where would chicken noodle soup be without the noodles? Spaetzle noodles are the best secret for an awesome chicken soup. They can be bought dehydrated at the store, and cook into rich luscious noodles. They are soo hearty, they'll help put some pep in your sickie's step right after eating!
Want my quick chicken soup recipe from scratch? OK. Here it is.

The Best Quick Chicken Soup
prep time: 10-15 minutes cook time: 15-25 minutes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot or 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 chicken breast chopped into 1" chunks
  • ~ 1 cup loosely packed dried spaetzle noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash of lemon juice
Saute onions, carrot and celery in 1 Tbs of olive oil until onions are translucent.

In a medium soup pot, brown chicken over medium heat. Add sauted onions, carrot, and celery. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to low heat. Allow to simmer for ~15 minutes.

Add spaetzle noodles and allow to cook for 5-10 more minutes, or until spaetzle is soft and cooked through.

Season to taste. Add 1/8 tsp of pepper is probably good. I never salt my chicken stock when I make it. This recipe probably needs 1-2 tsp. Start with a little bit and taste. Keep adding until you've got enough. With salt, its good to start slow. You can always add more, but its difficult to remove too much. If you do over salt, just add water to dilute. I like to throw in just a splash of fresh lemon juice for a bit of kick. Plus, vitamin C is always good for the sickie.

Eat and feel better.


IBerg said...

I have never noticed the Spaetzle in the store. Can you get them in Jewel or Dominics? Or do you have to go to Lincon Square to get them?

Andrea said...

I get my spaetzle at my local polish corner store, but I know my Mom gets hers at her local grocery store in Michigan. If they have it in Flint, they should have it at Jewel or Dominicks. I think.

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