It [soup] is to a dinner what a portico or a peristyle is to a building; that is to say, it is not only the first part of it, but it must be devised in such a manner as to set the tone of the whole banquet, in the same way as the overture of an opera announces the subject of the work.Reynière was right you know, given that most people will automatically condition their minds about the taste and quality of a meal depending solely on how good or bad the opening soup is. But not all soups are solely appetizers. Some are so filling in themselves, that if you have them at the beginning, you'll not be able to finish the rest of the meal. For instance, chicken noodle soups are exceptionally filling. Just a bowlful and you're set for at least 2 - 3 hours. Some chicken soup preparations can even stand in for dinner! Besides, from the preparation point of view as well, a basic chicken soup is not at all that difficult to make. Just add noodles to that, and voila!
―Grimod de la Reynière
―Grimod de la Reynière
Basic Chicken Noodle Soup
A bowl of warm soup can provide immense relief to people afflicted by a bout of violent cough and cold. In fact, chicken soup was fondly referred to as 'Jewish penicillin' by the people of the Ashkenazic Jewish culture. So, make the most of this soup on a cold wintry night! You can even freeze this homemade soup, thaw, and consume it for a period of three months! For a cozy group of six, you will need to gather,
- Chicken, 3 - 4 lb (cut into 4 pieces with fat)
- Egg noodles, 1 cup
- Carrots, 2 (medium, cleaned, and cut breadthwise into ¼" chunks)
- Celery stalks, 1½ (sliced breadth wise into ¼" chunks)
- Onions, 1 (minced)
- Bay leaf, 1
- Parsley, yield of 2 sprigs
- Thyme, yield of 1½ sprigs
- Chicken broth, 1 qt (low-sodium variety)
- Water, ½ qt (chilled)
- Vegetable oil, 1 tbsp.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the vegetable oil in a Crock Pot and throw in the carrots, celery stalks, and onion. Sauté for about 10 - 12 minutes until the onion is all translucent. Next, add the chicken pieces to it along with the broth, and then pour in enough water to submerge everything and yet have a 2" water layer on top. Let it come to a thorough boil. You shall have to repeatedly remove the froth that keeps appearing on top, and then throw in ¾ of the total parsley, the bay leaf, and the thyme. Now, decrease the heat to low and allow the broth to slowly boil for the next 1½ hours.
When you know that the chicken's fully cooked, remove it from the crock pot and allow it to cool. Fish out the herbs as well as the bay leaf from the soup, and also remove the oil and the fat from the chicken. Now, move to boning and skinning the chicken pieces and then cube them into smaller chunks. Initiate the noodles into the broth and heat again. Allow the noodles to soften. Add the chicken chunks to the soup, and mizzle salt and pepper from top as per the call of your taste buds. Garnish with the remaining fresh parsley. Serve piping hot with soy sauce, green chili soaked vinegar, and some chili sauce, if you like.
Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
When all you chiquitas are too busy to spend hours in the kitchen, and have a hungry, homebound kid to feed in just 30 minutes, concoct this totally awesome version of the soup! All you've got to gather are,
- Chicken breast, 1½ oz. (cooked and minced)
- Egg noodles, ¼ cup
- Chicken broth, ⅔ of a 14.5 oz. can
- Vegetable broth, 2 oz.
- Carrots, 2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. (finely slivered)
- Onion, 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. (finely cut)
- Celery, 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. (shredded)
- Butter, ½ tsp.
- Oregano herb, ⅛ tsp.
- Basil herb, ⅛ tsp.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the butter in a saucepan; sauté the onions and celery shreds in it for 5 - 6 minutes, until they soften. Add the broths to this, followed by the chicken chunks, egg noodles, veggies, herbs, and the seasoning. Bring it to a quick boil and then let it simmer for like 5 - 7 minutes or until you've got the desired consistency. Serve hot after garnishing with some fresh parsley choppings.
Gya-thuk or Tibetan Chicken Noodle Soup
This one is of the four variations of the Tibetan noodle soup called Thukpa. While the three other types are called then-thuk, pathug , and drethug, this goes by the name gya-thuk or noodle soup.
You can use beef, pork, and mutton instead of chicken in this recipe as well. For a group of four hungry eaters, you must have on your kitchen counter,
- Chicken, 200 g (boneless and thickly shredded)
- Egg noodles, 400 g (cooked in salty water, drained)
- Onions, 4 (finely chopped)
- Garlic cloves, 4 (minced)
- Carrot, 1 (large and cut into thin slices breadth wise)
- Ginger root, ½" piece (minced)
- Chicken stock, 4 L (clear and strongly flavored)
- Spinach, 200 g (finely sliced)
- Cabbage, 150 g (finely shredded)
- Oil, 1½ tbsp.
In a sauce pan, heat the oil and then throw in the ginger, garlic, and the onions. Sauté for 2 - 3 minutes and then throw in the chicken chunks. Keep stirring occasionally until the chunks are cooked and brownish in color. Mizzle salt and pepper to your preferable degree and the remove from heat. In a crock pot bring the broth to a vigorous boil, and then add the cabbage and carrot to it. The veggies must soften and yet be a little crisp on biting. Now, add the spinach and stir for 2 minutes. Add some salt to this. Allow it to simmer, and in the meantime, segregate the noodles into 4 deep-bottomed bowls. On this ladle out equal amounts of the meat fry and veggies. By now the broth will be thick and done, so with the help of a big serving spoon, pour some broth into each bowl. Make sure that you pour the broth slowly from one single side of the bowl until it covers the noodles and the meat. Then, gently cover the bowls for like 5 minutes, and serve piping hot. Don't forget to blow before you gorge it down! Some people also add prawns and other sea yields to this.
So, there you have three easy-to-make chicken noodle soup recipes, that will not engage you in the kitchen for very long really. These recipes do pack in a lot of proteins from the meat and the goodness of the veggies. You can even initiate some twist by sprinkling a spoonful of cheese shavings on top. So, drink it up deeply and enjoy that swishing warmth spread over your body from the first mouthful itself!!!