February 21, 2015

Comfort Food: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I've always wanted to try making my own chicken noodle soup. It's the epitome of comfort food for colds, nostalgia for home, and in my case, being snowed in again. I had a cake deliver this morning, so I planned my day to drive to the office afterwards. After what took triple the time to get to my cake destination, I decided to head back home. Thank goodness I did, I was stuck going 15-20 mph on snowy backroads (although absolutely beautiful) and then completely stopped in front of my house because so many cars were stuck on the road.
After I finally made it back home, I had the immediate urge to cook something warm to thaw my frozen state. I looked in the fridge and saw we had the basic necessities for the soup. Since I've never made chicken noodle soup before, I looked up a basic recipe and improvised with what I had in the kitchen.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (serves up to four):
-Organic Chicken Breast (3 large pieces)
-Celery (4 large stalks)
-Carrots (3-4 medium)
-Onion (1 medium)
-Minced Garlic
-Bay leaves (4 dry leaves)
-Black Pepper
-Chicken Stock (5 cups)
-Bowtie Pasta (I used this instead of egg noodles)

I plan on trying to make my own chicken stock in the near future, but for today's purpose of making a quick dish I used what I could :)
First I diced the carrots, celery, onion and chicken breast. A great way to cut carrots (suggested by some pretty professional chef friends!) is to cut at an angle, and slightly turning the carrot each time. Here's a great example from Serious Eats, refer to steps 6-8! These "faux tourne" carrot pieces are much more appealing in your dishes.
After chopping all your vegetables and chicken breast, season the chicken with black pepper, minced garlic, and thyme. I grilled the chicken first on a pan, while lightly browning my veggies in my main pot. I then added the grilled chicken to the pot, along with the bay leaves and chicken stock.
Once everything started to boil, I added my bowtie pasta. My mom bought some beautiful handmade pasta, and I thought the vibrant colors would be a great addition to my soup.
I gently placed the pasta in the soup, since they're more prone to falling apart. After 7-8 minutes, the soup was ready! My brother came home soon after I finished the soup (after sitting in four hours of traffic!), and he gave it two thumbs up :) I'm proud of the result, the soup was delicious!
I hope all of you are staying warm and safe in this crazy weather, I'm off to shovel for the third time today (boo). What kinds of snacks and warm dishes are you eating while snowed in?

P.S. Here's a photo of the cake I delivered this morning! Loved the circus theme :)

Until next time :)

Stay hungry,

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