Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

I didn’t really have much appreciation for homemade chicken noodle soup, until my niece, Lindsie, asked me to make it for her wedding.  I don’t know what changed, but ever since then it has been one of my favorite soups to make, maybe because it reminds me of her and that special day.  Now, there’s nothing more comforting to me than a big, steaming bowl, freshly made from (mostly) scratch. 
For convenience sake, I’ve opted to use canned broth and a hot & ready rotisserie chicken from the grocer.  Rotisserie chickens also (generally) happen to be cheaper than buying a whole, fresh chicken, so not only are you saving time, you’re saving money.  Of course, you can roast your own chicken and make your own chicken stock, but that’s another recipe in itself.  ~Joanie

Ingredients:

4 cans of chicken or vegetable broth
5 or 6 sprigs EACH of fresh rosemary, sage, & thyme, OR 1 pack fresh Poultry Medley herbs (usually found in your grocer’s refrigerated produce section.)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
4 large carrots, chopped
3 large stalks of celery, chopped
1 whole rotisserie chicken, or 1 lb cooked chicken of your choice
8 oz Egg Noodles
Salt & Pepper
Large stock pot

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Directions:
In a large stock pot, add broth and herbs.  Let herbs simmer on med heat for about 20 minutes or until they’re limp and have given up their flavor.  Fish out the herbs and discard.

Add onion and garlic and salt.  Let simmer while you chop carrots and celery.  Add remaining vegetables and turn heat to low.

Next, deconstruct your chicken.  Start by removing the breast meat, then the legs & thighs and last, the wings and any remaining meat sticking to the bones.  Don’t let any go to waste!  Chop up any large pieces and add all meat to the pot.  Add meat to the stock pot.  (Save the bones and skin for making chicken stock.)   

In a separate pot, cook egg noodles using package directions, until texture is al dente (slightly firm).  Add cooked noodles to the soup.  If needed, add salt/pepper to taste and garnish with chopped green onions.  Serve immediately and enjoy.

**This soup freezes really well and is perfect for lunch on the go!

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Zuppa Toscana

This flavorful soup is incredibly easy and delicious, and most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. I love the peppery flavor of the kale, and I find that the salt in the Italian sausage is enough to flavor the whole pot.

Serves about 6.

Ingredients:

1 lb Italian Sausage (I like the hot stuff)

1 Large Onion, chopped

3 Fresh Garlic Cloves, minced

3-5 Medium Potatoes

32oz Chicken Broth

4 Large Kale Leaves

1 Cup Heavy Cream (optional)

Directions:

Brown Italian sausage on medium heat in a separate skillet.  Strain the grease out using a mesh strainer or slotted spoon, but DO NOT RINSE!

Wash and peel potatoes.  Cut in-half, then slice into 1/4in. pieces.

In a large soup pot, combine chicken broth, minced garlic, chopped onion, potatoes and cooked sausage.  Allow to simmer about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While soup is simmering, wash kale thoroughly and remove the spines. Tear into “spoon-sized” pieces.  When potatoes are cooked to your desired tenderness, turn off the heat and add the kale.  Make sure the kale is submerged in the hot broth.  Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until the kale turns a bright green color.

Add cream, if desired (I don’t) and serve immediately.  It’s delicious with simple bread and butter on the side.  Enjoy!  ~Joanie

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