Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

I never really ate chicken noodle soup a whole lot when I was growing up -- except for when I was sick, of course. On those occasions, my mom would pop open a can of the high-sodium Campbell's stuff and heat it up for me. It always did the trick, but it definitely wasn't what I'd call healthy. For all the cooking she did when I was younger, chicken noodle soup was something my mom never made from scratch.

A few years ago, my best friend came down with a horrible cold, and I decided I'd try my hand at making some homemade chicken noodle soup for her. We lived in the same apartment complex at the time, so it was easy for me to whip up a batch and take some over to her. I kept some for our dinner, too, and when Joe tried it, he was really impressed. My friend was, too. Since then, I've tweaked and added to the recipe, and it's become a winter family favorite. My secret ingredients are lemon pepper, white wine, and a touch of cream stirred in at the very end. The lemon pepper adds a wonderfully fresh element to the soup, and to bump up the lemon flavor even more, I've even sprinkled a quick gremolata of parsley and lemon zest on the top. We like our soup pretty thick, so the leftovers are more like chicken and noodles than they are like soup. This was Andrew's first year trying it, and he absolutely loved it too.

This chicken noodle soup is sure to cure your cold, or just comfort you and warm you up on a cold winter day. Serve it with salad and crusty bread for dipping. I think you'll really like it!


And this is your last reminder about the Christmas from the Heart give-away! Be sure to comment on that post before tomorrow at 12:00 PM Eastern time for a chance to win!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
source: Cassie

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, leafy tops included, chopped

2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and lemon pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I always use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for this)

1 cup frozen peas
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound egg noodles
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs (no need to remove the thyme from its stems; it'll come off on its own during cooking). Season with salt and lemon pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir one minute.

2. Add white wine; cook until alcohol is cooked out, stirring constantly to release any bits of vegetables from the bottom. Add the chicken, peas and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

3. Add egg noodles to soup and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

4. Just before serving, stir in heavy cream.

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