Thursday, October 20, 2011

Soup's On!

Ahhhh, fall has finally hit the Great Plains after the longest, hottest summer on record!  I say, bring it on.  I'm ready for tumbling in autumn leaves, wearing boots and jackets, and eating steamy pots of soup.  Lately I have been slightly fixated on chicken noodles soup.  I'm not sick.  I'm not sad.  Maybe a little stressed but what else is new?  Anyway, it just sounded...good.  So today I hauled out the soup pot and started cooking.  Here goes:

1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts, mine was 1.2 pounds
1 box chicken stock
1 C water
1 lemon, halved
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, halved and trimmed of ends
2 bay leaves
Several black peppercorns

Clean and trim chicken.  Add to pot with other poaching ingredients.  Poach gently on medium low for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove chicken to a large bowl and strain out solids from poaching liquid.  Reserve the onion and garlic, chop and add back to the pot with the other veggies.  Shred chicken with two forks and set aside.  Now onto the veggies!

2-4 large carrots, chopped, diced, sliced, whatever
4oz. white mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 small Fresno pepper, finely diced (this adds a nice fruity, mild spice to the dish)
Notice I did not use celery, 'cuz I don't like it.  Toss some in if you want to be "authentic."
Reserved chopped onion and garlic from poaching liquid

Add veggies to the pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Add chicken back in.  Add black pepper, paprika, and cumin.  While veggies are simmering, boil a pot of water and cook 6-8oz egg noddles.  Check seasonings  (you may need to add salt if you used unsalted stock).  Scoop noodles out of boiling water with a slotted spoon and add to soup.  It doesn't  matter if you get some noodle water, it is soup after all and the starchy water will add an extra consistency to the soup.  Cook, stirring, for a few more minutes until everything comes together.

Ladle into large soup bowls and top as desired (I used parmigiano reggiano and chopped chives) and serve with bread or crackers.  Mmmmm....mmmmm.....good!

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