When I asked Chef Todd Weisenbeck about a go-to dish, he immediately started talking about this chicken noodle soup he makes with his wife, Wendy.
I was super excited for three reasons:
He uses sun-dried tomatoes.
He uses mushrooms.
I have never made my own chicken noodle soup.
So two of my favorite ingredients PLUS an excuse to make something new from scratch. It doesn’t hurt that Chef Todd and I are on the same page about making dishes as healthy as possible so in a sense, I trusted him to lead me in the straight and narrow. He wasn’t going to throw in a vat of cream or pork belly at the last minute.
My Chicken Soup History
It might seem odd that I have never made such a classic from scratch before.
Growing up, we either ate my grandmother’s version or my Auntie Campbell’s. Auntie Campbell was the most common, always ready on a moment’s notice, but never really fresh tasting. Probably because it was from a can. I can promise you after you try this easy homemade version, you will never reach for Aunty Campbell’s soup again.
I mean, look at that.
Big egg noodles, hearty mushrooms, big chunks of fresh chicken…does the can really compare?
Todd and Wendy’s Chicken Noodle Soup
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
5 chicken leg quarters
1 large onion, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
5 medium carrots, diced
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
two 26 ounce cartons of un-salted or reduced sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons better than bouillon (chicken flavor)*
1 quart + 1 cup water
8 ounces egg noodles (recommends Kluski brand)
salt and pepper, to taste
*It may seem odd to have stock AND better than bouillon. The better than bouillon rounds out the flavor of the store-bought stock. This is also why it is important to get a no-salt or reduced sodium stock.
- On medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot. The pot should be over 5 1/2 quarts in size. You’ll see why later on….
- Brown the chicken leg quarters in batches.
After browned, set chicken leg quarters aside.
- Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add onions, celery, carrots, and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute until onions are translucent.
- Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are browned and tender.
- Add garlic and sage. Saute for one minute.
- Add stock, better than bouillon, and water to de-glaze. Add chicken leg quarters and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
This is why it is important to use a pot that is bigger than 5 1/2 quarts. I could only add 1 quart of water because that additional cup would have pushed me over the edge.
- After the soup has simmered for an hour and a half, remove chicken and add noodles. Let the noodles simmer for 15 minutes while you remove the chicken meat from the bones.
- Return the chicken to the pot and skim off excess fat from the top of the soup.
This is the ultimate comfort food.
Warm, savory, fresh veggies, big chunks of tender chicken, and noodles that seem to give you a big hug as you slurp down this soup.
Even Manatee LOVED this soup and he doesn’t like chicken noodle soup.
I think the secret is the sun-dried tomatoes.
They plump up during the simmer but don’t overtake the soup which I assume would happen if you threw in diced tomatoes. It’s the perfect integration of tomato and chicken noodle soup.
Thank you Todd and Wendy.
Readers, have you ever made chicken noodle soup? Any secret ingredients you want to share?