This is the perfect superhero to fight winter colds and flu. It is a two- day process. Here’s what you do:
Cut up one whole chicken and remove skin (I like Red Bird brand, a natural chicken available in most supermarkets).
Put chicken in stock pot and cover generously with water. Salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, all afternoon, until the meat has fallen off the bones and the broth is deep golden and flavorful. Leave the meat and bones and broth in the stock pot, cover and let cool overnight in your garage or back porch or someplace cold.
The next morning: remove the meat and bones from the broth, and discard the bones. Refrigerate the meat. Strain the broth back into the stock pot. Now, cut up into bite- sized pieces:
3 ribs celery
4 or 5 carrots
4 or 5 (or 6 or 7) cloves of garlic, minced
Add the vegetables to the stock pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Add more salt and pepper. While these veggies are simmering, go through your fridge and pantry for veggie odds and ends. This last batch of soup I made, I found some shallot, which I diced up and added to the pot, a few mushrooms which were a wee past their prime, some leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving, and also some turkey gravy (leftover green bean casserole would have been good too, but we didn’t have any leftover), a half a roasted sweet potato, and some dried veggie mix for soup in the cupboard. It all went into the pot, and simmered all afternoon.
In the middle of the afternoon, taste the broth, and add more salt and pepper if necessary, or other seasonings. I like rosemary and thyme, or summer savory is also good. If it seems weak in chicken flavor, and if you can find chicken bouillon which does not have MSG in it (good luck), you can add chicken bouillon. Return the chicken meat also to the stock pot at this point. Keep tasting every hour or so until you are happy with your seasoning. Remember that when you add the noodles it will seem like it will need more salt, because noodles are unseasoned. If it seems a little disproportionate, like there is too much broth and not enough veggies, don’t worry. The noodles will soak up a lot of the broth as they cook and it will all balance out in the end. 🙂
About a half hour before dinner, stir in 8 oz of egg noodles or other pasta. You don’t have to bring it back up to a boil, the slow simmer will cook the noodles just fine for a half hour. I like to use brown rice pasta, not only because it is gluten- free, but because it is harder to turn to mush than wheat pasta or noodles. At this point I also add a cup of cream to the stock pot – that and the leftover mashed potatoes help to thicken up the soup a bit so you don’t need to mess with cornstarch. Be sure to taste after adding noodles and cream, because they will dilute the seasoning somewhat.
Serve up with crackers, and banish those cold and flu symptoms.