Monday, March 25, 2013

Homemade Chicken Broth and more soup recipes

In January Brook taught us how to make our own chicken broth.  Now, I don't know about you--but I am so over the canned broth! This way is healthier and cheaper, and even though it's a little more time consuming it's worth it because it tastes WAY better!  We made fresh chicken noodle soup and a tortellini soup that was simple and delicious!  And thanks to everyone who brought their favorite soups to share--I'll post the recipes below...

 Easy Tortellini Soup:

48 oz. prepared chicken broth (1 1/2 quarts or 12 cups)
1 package of fresh chesse tortelline (can also use frozen)

Bring broth to a rolling boil, add tortellini, cook at a medium simmer about 7-10 minutes, stirring gently, pushing down pasta if necessary.  Salt and pepper as desired.  Serve hot sprinkled with fresh parmesan cheese

Can add any seasoning you like; garlic salt, thyme, parsley, cayenne, etc.  Or add cubed chicken, peas, etc.

if you can't do homemade--this is by far the BEST chicken broth base you can find!!!


Chicken Noodle Soup:

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs.) breasts removed and split--the remainder cut into pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 quarts water
2 tsp. table salt
2 bay leaves

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
1 medium celery stalk, small diced
1 medium onion, small diced
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley leaves

Homemade noodles (recipe below) or 3 ounces wide egg noodles

If using homemade noodles, make noodles first--roll and let dry while finishing soup.

1.  Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute until starting to color, about 2-3 minutes.  Add chicken breast halves and saute until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Add half of chicken pieces, saute until no longer pink--4-5 minutes.  Transfer pieces to bowl with breasts.  Saute remaining chicken pieces.  Return chicken pieces (excluding breasts) to pot.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken releases its juices, about 10 minutes.  Increase heat to high and add water along with both breast halves, salt and bay leaves.  Return to simmer and then partially cover and barely simmer until chicken breasts are cooked skimming any scum that rises, about 20-25 minutes.

2.  Remove chicken breasts from pot and set aside on a cutting board.  When cool enough to handle, remove skin from breasts and then remove meat from bones and cut into small pieces.  Strain broth through fine-meshed sieve, discard bones.  Skim fat from broth reserving 2 Tbsp.

3.  Return soup pot to medium-high heat.  Add reserved chicken fat.  Add remaining onion, celery, carrot.  Saute until softened about 5 minutes.  Add thyme along with broth.  Stir until vegetables are tender and flavors meld, about 10 minutes.  Stir in reserved chicken pieces.  Add noodles and cook until just tender.  Adjust seasoning, stir in parsley and serve.

Rotisserie Chicken short-cut:

Remove chicken breasts from chicken and cut into bite sized pieces, reserving for soup.  Chicken can be room temperature or warm.  Cut remaining chicken up in to pieces using a meat cleaver, large chefs knife or kitchen shears.  Saute onion as directed in step 2 then add chicken pieces to pot, cooking to release juices from chicken, about 5 minutes.  Add water, breast bones, salt and bay leaves and continue with instructions in step 2.  Skim fat from rotisserie container and reserve for later.  Add any collected juices into pot before simmering.


Add 1 medium diced zucchini into vegetables.  1 can of chopped tomatoes (or fresh) to broth and substitute pasta shells for egg noodles.  Can also add green beans, sliced mushrooms, peas, etc.

Homemade Noodles:

1 cup of sifted flour (or more)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg, beaten
1-2 Tbsp. milk

Measure flour onto a work surface or into a bowl.  Make a well in the center of the flour and add egg, milk and salt into center.  Mix to make a stiff paste.  Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until it forms a smooth ball.  

Roll out to a 1/8" thickness.  Allow to rest for 20 minutes.  Roll up loosely; slice 1/4" to 1/2" wide.  Unroll, spread out and let dry 1-2 hours.

Our ingredients for chicken noodle soup, we use the rotisserie chicken variation

Homemade noodles

sauteing the onion

Sauteing the chicken pieces for the broth--these will be used for flavor and juices but then discarded.

skim off the foamy stuff that rises to the surface when making the broth.  And yes, that's the technical term for it...

Straining the chicken broth...through a sieve and cheese cloth

Our finished product.  Looks amazing, doesn't it??  Tasted even better!

Karren Ashley's Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

6 Tbsp. chopped onion
4 Tbsp. butter
6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 stalk celery
2 medium carrots
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp.  black pepper
1/8 tsp.  cayenne pepper
1- 8 oz. cream cheese

In a large pan, saute onions  and celery in butter.  Add squash, carrots, chicken broth, marjoram, pepper (black and cayenne).  Boil for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.

Puree squash and cream cheese in blender in batches til smooth.  Return to sauce pan and heat.  Do not boil.

Clara Starkey's Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana:
2 Tbsp.  Extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 (32 oz.) containers of orrganic chicken broth (or homemade!!)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
4 c kale, chopped, stems discarded
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 lb. mild (or spicy) ground Italian sausage (harmons makes a great one!)
1/2 c heavy cream

In a large pot, saute onion in olive oil over mediu heat until onion becomes translucent--about 10 minutes.  Add broth, potatoes, kale, sea salt, pepper and pepper flakes then bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile cook the sausage until browned in a pan over medium heat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Once cooked thoroughly, add the sausage and cream to the soup.  Heat to desired temperature and serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.  Enjoy!

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