Today was a day of reckoning.
I’ve never made honest-to-goodness chicken soup. Crockpot soup, immersion blender soup, roasted vegetable soup, sure. But the kind of soup my mom made when I was sick as a kid? That kind of soup is sacred territory, the kind only a mom knows how to traverse.
Then, the Husband woke up with the cold I had all last week. And despite ribbing him occasionally on the interwebs, I think I’m a pretty good wife/dance partner/roommate. After all, he deserves that – he’s a pretty good husband/dance partner/roommate, too. So I busted out the recipe book I received for my bridal shower – full of handwritten recipe cards from the best moms I know: mine, my husband’s, my surrogate aunts (aka my mom’s besties), and my husband’s aunts.
This chicken soup was inspired by my mom’s BFF, J – in fact, inspired (but not duplicated) by her mom’s recipe. I’m not even going to wait to give the verdict on this one: it.was.awesome.
Homemade Chicken Soup
- olive oil
- 2 large bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
- 6-8 cups chicken broth (or water)
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 10 or so sprigs fresh thyme
- large handful whole black peppercorns
- about 5 stalks fresh parsley, plus more for serving
- 3-5 slices fresh jalapeno (depending on your level of tolerance for heat)
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 package long noodles
- optional: Parmesan cheese, fresh spinach, escarole
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then sear on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Add enough stock/water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Strain the grayish top layer that appears (will make your broth less cloudy).
- Add onion, carrots, celery, jalapeno and all herbs. If you’re feeling fancy, tie them together to make a little bouquet garni – this will make it easier to remove it at the end. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until chicken is done, about an hour. Every so often, strain the top layer again.
- Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Remove the herbs and discard. (Make sure to taste your broth and season accordingly!) Shred the chicken from the bone and add the meat back to the pot. Add a spritz of lemon and stir.
- Boil water for pasta and cook according to directions; place a small amount at the bottom of large individual bowls. Ladle the soup over the pasta and serve with additional fresh parsley. Feel your sinuses open up for a brief, glorious moment.
See above. J, I hope I did you proud.