It all started about 3 or 4 weeks ago (give or take). I decided to make a few freezer meals on a weekend and when I went to put it away in our garage freezer, I realized that I really needed to start making some more room in there. There were 2 whole turkeys in there and about 4 whole chickens that needed to be cooked and then made into a variety of meals. So, I began planning, defrosting (one at a time - I did not get through all of them yet!), and then the cooking began.
Initially, when the bird was done cooking, we would have the chicken or turkey for dinner that night along with a few sides. The bird would then be stripped of the rest of its meat, and then I used the bones to make broth for my turkey or chicken soup! I believe that the first soup that I made was the basic, delicious chicken (or turkey) soup recipe that I adapted from my mom's recipe - so delicious! Then I made some other meals - like a chicken and broccoli quiche - which is SOOOO delicious! I used the recipe found in one of my favorite cookbooks, Don't Panic, More Dinner is in the Freezer. It is a hearty quiche, filled with onions (which I saute), broccoli, chicken, cheese and the egg mixture. I also made it with chopped spinach, instead of broccoli!). Then...more soup...other types, which I will get to at another time! Today, I will share my mom's recipe with you! Enjoy!
Mom's Chicken (or Turkey) Soup
3 1/2 lb. stewing chicken (if I already have cooked chicken - I just use the leftover bones)
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 lb. carrots, chopped (can use 1 bag of baby carrots)
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup fine noodles (optional) - (do not freeze soup with noodles in it - add them later)
1. Wash chicken. Place in a large dutch oven and cover with 5 cups of water. Add seasonings.
2. Simmer covered 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is tender.
3. While chicken is cooking, prepare vegetables...carrots, celery, and onions
4. When chicken is done, remove it, along with bay leaf from the stock. Skim off as much fat as possible from stock. Pour stock through a strainer/colander and into another pot. Be sure there are no little bits of bone left in the stock!
5. Bring stock back to boiling. Add carrots, onions, and celery. Simmer 45 minutes.
6. While vegetable are cooking, remove skin and bones from chicken, leaving chicken in large pieces.
7. When vegetable are soft, blend/puree at least half of them. This will thicken the broth! You can blend as much or as little as you would like to.
8. Cook noodles and add to stock, along with chicken pieces (you decide how much you want to add). Cook 10 minutes longer.
You can double or even triple this recipe - which is what I usually do! You can freeze some of what you made for a future cold day, or share some with a friend!
Getting ready to freeze some of the soup!