Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Classic

It's that time again here in Colorado. The time of year that you pour yourself a second cup of coffee just to feel the warmth from the mug and smell the silky deliciousness. The time of year you when check on your sleeping children just to make sure their toes are covered in warm socks. The time of year when you stock up on hot chocolate for the pantry. I even brought in my citrus trees and my blooming standards last week to preserve them from the danger of frost and they are now happy and settled in for the winter in close range to the sunlight. So, when my family turned up exhausted at the end of a long stressful week and with the beginnings of sinus problems, I knew just what to do. I'm not sure how this recipe came to my kitchen, but it is my standard for warmth, comfort and liquid love. This recipe has made it into my 'greatest hits' cookbook, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 lg onion
1 chicken
1 gallon of water
2/3 bunch of celery
1 lb carrots
3 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
1/4 c chicken soup base
1 lb carrots (yes, another one)
1/3 bunch of celery
8 oz egg noodles

In a large stock pot, boil together chicken with roughly chopped onion, roughly chopped carrots, roughly chopped celery (2/3) bay leaves and peppercorns in the gallon of water. Boil 1-2 hours. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Strain stock through a cheesecloth lined sieve, then add stock back to the pot. If you wish, you can run the broth by the ladle-full through your fat separator . Add soup base and remaining carrots and celery all sliced thin on the mandoline. [These can be expensive but I have a cheap plastic version I got for around $10 at Bed Bath and Beyond years ago. It's fast and it makes you look like a professional.] Take the chicken off the bone and add it back to the pot. Boil the egg noodles separately (Seriously, do this~ otherwise the noodles will absorb all of that wonderful chicken broth and that would be a tragedy) and add to the soup. Wrap yourself in a warm sweater and enjoy!

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