My brother stopped by last night and our conversation wandered around to the topic of food. It’s not surprising. If I’m in a conversation, it often does. I like food. Mostly I eat because the alternative is dying, but I figure that if I’m going to be eating, it may as well be something good. Anyway, Jeremy mentioned that he’s doing more cooking these days and he asked for some noob friendly recipes. I love noob friendly food. Food that’s noob friendly means food that’s easy to prep and generally quick to cook. You know, weeknight food. I just got in from work and I’m starving and I don’t feel like waiting three hours to eat kind of food.
I made chicken noodle soup a few weeks ago and it was amazing. I actually dubbed it chicken noodle potato soup because I put in way more potatoes than the recipe called for. I like potatoes. Anyway, I made a turkey a few days and it was less amazing, but still pretty good. It gave me tons of leftovers, and after four days, I was getting tired of turkey. So I decided to make soup out of it.
So let’s talk ingredients. We start with protein. I’m using turkey, but you can use chicken. I commented to Carissa that we should pick up one of those $5 roasted chickens sometime, carve it up and use it for soup. That would be a real easy starting point for something like this. Soup’s a versatile thing, though. You can use whatever. I used chicken breasts last time and they were fine. I used four day old turkey today and it turned out great. The recipe I based this on calls for two cups. If you really like meat, use more. If all you have is a single chicken breast, that’ll work, too. Whatever. Soup don’t care.
Chop the protein into bite sized cubes and cook it in a big pot. I used a wide 2.5 gallon thing. You probably want something close to that size. Throw in some fat to keep the meat from sticking. 1 tbsp of olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, whatever. Cook the meat, set aside.
Next you need vegetables. We’re more or less going for a mirepoix here, but I go easier on the onion. I used normal carrots last time. It took a few minutes to peel them and chop them. Today I had a bag of baby carrots in the fridge. I just cut them in half. We’re aiming for about a cup here. Celery is required. Rinse it. Chop it. Easy. Again, about a cup. Onion is the third part of the holy trinity. I used a big, yellow onion. Chop it. It may be a cup, it may be more than a cup. Whatever. It’s an onion. They’re self-contained orbs of flavor. Take all the chopped veg and throw it into the pot where you just cooked the meat. Add some more fat (and tbsp or so), stir. Cook for 5 minutes or so, enough to soften the carrots and celery.
While the mirepoix is softening, crush three cloves of garlic. Chop. Throw in pot. Then you have to make a choice. Do you like potatoes? If yes, chop up half a dozen or so red potatoes. If not, chop up one. Or not. Soup don’t care. I like potatoes. I use half a dozen or so. Throw those bad boys in on top of the veg.
And finally the liquid. If you used the 2 cups of chicken, 1 cup of carrot, 1 cup of celery ratio, you need about 4 cans of chicken stock. Or 2 of the 28 ounce boxes. Puncture. Pour.
Now we need some things to add flavor. Get thee some fresh thyme. Alternatively, one of those little 99 cent plastic packages of thyme. You could probably use the dried stuff. I haven’t. Don’t be a heathen. Throw four or so sprigs of thyme into the pan. Throw in 3 chicken bullion cubes. If you have turkey bullion cubes, feel free to use those instead. Is there such a thing? I have no idea.
Stir all this nonsense up and bring it to a boil. Add the protein back to the big pot of bubbling goodness. Add half a bag of egg noodles. Or 8 ounces. It’s not an exact science. I used Always Save today. It’s a soup. Soup don’t care.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, chop some parsley. Half a cup or so. Throw that into the pot and stir. As you stir, look for those thyme twigs. Pull them out.
At this point, sample the broth. It’s expected that your tongue gets burned here. If it doesn’t, grats. I hate you. This would be a good time to add salt and pepper to taste.
Congratulations, your soup is done. Enjoy.
2 tbsp olive oil
1c celery, chopped
1c carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2c cooked chicken or turkey
3 chicken bullion cubes
4 cans chicken stock (about 56 oz)
8 oz egg noodles
1/2 c of parsley, chopped
Cook protein in 1 tbsp oil. Remove
Cook celery, carrot, onion in remaining oil until celery and carrot soften.
Add thyme, stock, potato and garlic. Bring to boil.
Add chicken and noodles, reduce to simmer for 30 mins.
Add parsley at end. Salt and pepper to taste.