Monday, October 8, 2012

'Tis Soup Weather

Today it was so chilly and raw all day, I had to keep my new warm winter coat and hand-knitted cowl on all day.  Plus, I pulled on my snazzy new Goodwill-purchased fingerless gloves...I do love fingerless gloves!  Anyway, fall is officially here and today felt much more like late November than early October.  When this kind of weather rolls in, it is the perfect time to make a pot of soup and settle in for a night with a good book.

I make lots of different soups, often just pulling things out of the fridge and pantry that seem like they would be good together.  Sometimes I am right in my guesses, and sometimes....well, let's just say the chickens have a definite taste for botched batches of soup!  When I am searching for a good recipe of a particular kind of soup, I hit the internet and go surfing.  I always seem to find something good on  Take, for instance, this take on corn chowder:  Green and Red Tomato Corn Soup.  It's a great way to use up those green tomatoes, and I have been known to chop them and freeze them in containers, and the pull them out in the depths of winter and make this "summer" soup.  And then there is my perennial favorite for wintery weather, Minestrone Soup, which has the miraculous power to both soothe and revive you after a long day of slogging through slush and cold winds.  I mean, just look at it:

 Come on, who could resist THAT??  It runs a close second to my all time favorite, Mulligatawny Soup, which has spices, incredible flavor, and is a good way to use up some leftover roasted chicken.  I believe it can also cure the common cold--no kidding.  If you don't live in a household where having a leftover roasted chicken in the fridge is a common thing, I feel so sorry for you.  I also feel that you need to take immediate steps to remedy that sad situation! (Go roast a chicken, today. You'll feel better for it.)

For tonight's dinner, I did my usual dig through the fridge and cupboards thing, and wound up with a really good take on the classic chicken noodle soup.  It helped that nearly everything came from my garden at some point, but still, I think it can be replicated in your house with store-bought stuff (oh, the horror....haha!)

The Chicken Lady's Chicken Noodle Soup
You'll need: one partially consumed roasted chicken, which could be leftover rotisserie chicken you got somewhere...which I have never done, oh no, never me; about a cup of chopped tomatoes; about a cup of chopped swiss chard; one large carrot, diced or sliced as you prefer; two long stalks of celery, chopped as you like; one onion, you pick the color, and chop it finely; one clove of garlic, minced; pepper and salt and dried thyme to flavor, to your preferred amounts; and egg noodles of your choice (I had some garlic and parsley flavored ones in the pantry).
Take your chicken remains, and place into a large pot and just cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Remove bones and chicken, set aside to cool.  Add the vegetables and seasonings to the pot, cover and return to a steady simmer. My tomatoes and chard were frozen, so they may take a little while to heat up and melt out of their frozen-in-a-wodge-state. When cool enough to handle, pick all the chicken off the bones, shred, and return to pot.  Allow to cook for about 30 minutes, until all the veggies are tender, and then toss in a handful of egg noodles.  Simmer for ten minutes more, until noodles are done.  Serve hot, with crusty bread.  I always adjust the salt and pepper to taste in my bowl, as I find too much salt can ruin a soup after it ages for a day (or in the freezer for a long while).  This is pretty good with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese on top, too.

Chicken Noodle Soup--it'll cure what ails you.

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