I spent this spring on maternity leave. Which meant I had all day to prep for dinner. And for the first couple of weeks, I had sincere plans to make elaborate meals, fancy desserts, and snacks. But then I didn’t. Because I have three kids. So sure, I may have had the time to tackle a multiple step recipe but yeah, I have three kids. I have no hands. I am constantly breastfeeding. Someone needs a glass of water or milk. Someone is screaming that a toy is no longer in his grasp. While I may have all day to cook, life is anything but simple. Dinner recipes need to be as uncomplicated as possible.
That’s where soup comes in. The idea of tossing all the ingredients into a pot, letting it simmer (maybe checking on it periodically to stir, but maybe not)–yeah, I can handle that and breastfeed a baby while wiping a toddler’s butt (yeah, that happened. Sorry, Ellie!)
And when making soup, why not stick with a classic: chicken noodle. I am all for making as much of your recipe from scratch when you can–especially when it’s not super complicated. Making your own chicken broth is stupid easy. Literally, you throw full chicken in a pot of hot water. Leave the chicken in hot water. Come back later and take out the chicken. And wah lah, you have chicken broth. Even with three young children, this is manageable.
So anytime we get a rotisserie chicken, there’s a good chance homemade chicken noodle soup is on the horizon. Here’s some unsolicited advice that you do the same.
- Rotisserie chicken, with bones (half eaten, quarter eaten, all eaten, what have you)
- Chicken meat (either from the rotisserie chicken or just another package of chicken)
- Bay leaf (2-3)
- Celery, chopped
- Carrots, sliced
- Bok Choy, sliced
- White onion, sliced
- Smaller noddles (the boys prefer “wheels” noodles)
- Olive oil or butter
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Toss partially eaten chicken (bones and all) into a pot of boiling water. Make sure there is enough water to submerge the chicken. Toss in a bay leaf or two or three. Place lid on the pot and bring temperature down to simmer. Allow chicken to simmer in water for at least 30 minutes but ideally a couple of hours. I aim for 2 hours.
- Remove chicken from pot (and what’s left in the pot is your broth-look how easy that was!)
- Add celery, carrots, bok choy, and onions to pot. While simmering, clean any remaining chicken off the bone and toss into the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put lid back on and cook on simmer for at least another 40 minutes. Longer is fine.
- In a separate pot, add water and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook. Once tender, drain and place back into empty pot (NOT the broth/chicken/veggie pot). Drizzle some olive oil or butter over noodles so they don’t stick to the pot.
- Once you are ready to serve, ladle broth mixture into a bowl. Top with noodles. You want to keep the broth and noodles separate because if you have leftovers and freeze, the noodles tend to get soggy with time. So only add noodles to the bowl of soup you are about to put in your belly.
- And Enjoy!
Source: my husband. who learned it from his mother.