Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch

homemade chicken noodle soup

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This post on homemade chicken noodle soup was inspired by the soon to released cookbook From Scratch by Michael Ruhlman. I received a free copy as part of the Abrams Dinner Party.

Chicken soup means different things to different people. To me it means comfort. From a very early age the answer to anything that ailed us was my grandmother’s homemade chicken noodle soup. I am sure she learned how to make it from her mother and she taught my mother who taught me. Making the soup is really pretty simple, what I was never able to master was my grandmother’s egg noodles. She was a whiz with a rolling pin and a knife. Her noodles were rolled and cut thin like angel hair pasta. Watching her work was fascinating to us kids; she was so fast at cutting the noodles and to children brought up on packaged foods those homemade noodles were heaven.

From Scratch

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The From Scratch Challenge

As part of the Abrams Dinner Party and From Scratch we were challenged to make one of the dishes in Chef Ruhlman’s book entirely from scratch. I decided to do that with this soup as I had one farm butchered chicken left in the freezer. This is, after all what we do on the farm. Although we have made the decision to no longer butcher our own chickens we do grow most of what we eat. Everything in the soup but for the bay leaves, salt and pepper came from the farm. I also made the noodles myself – although we don’t grow wheat here so obviously the flour was purchased. The eggs came from our laying hens.

The amounts listed are a bit…fluid as soupmaking for me is a little of this and a little of that. For those of you that like precise measurements look to Chef Ruhlman’s recipe. It will be more precise.

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homemade chicken noodle soup

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Amount varies based on the size of the chicken I am going to provide you with two recipes; the one I use that has come down to me from my grandmother and Michael Ruhlman’s.

First up, mine.

For the Stock

  • 1 chicken (if you can find a stewing hen, all the better)
  • 2 to 3 carrots, preferably organic with greens if you can find them
  • 2 celery stalks, preferably organic with greens
  • 1 large onion, preferably organic
  • 1 head of garlic, preferably organic
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably organic
  • salt

For the Noodles

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • water if needed

making homemade chicken noodles soup

  • Put the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water. (The chicken I used was actually a rooster and it was huge – it was 8lbs so this was a huge pot of soup. That is a 24 quart stock pot. I realize most store bought chickens are not this large.)

skim the scum from the homemade chicken soup

  • Let the chicken simmer for an hour or two. As the scum rises to the top skim it off. You will notice that no more new scum appears – after about two hours.
  • At this point add the vegetables – the carrots, carrot greens, celery, celery greens, the onion and the head of garlic. For the onion I peel it and cut it in half. For the garlic I just pull the cloves out and toss them in. Add the bay leaves.
  • Let this simmer and cook down for several hours.
  • Pull the chicken out of the soup – it will fall apart as you do this. Put it in a bowl to cool and pick clean.

strain the chicken soup

  • Remove the vegetables and strain the soup. Clean the stock pot and return the soup to the pot, straining through cheesecloth if you have it. Otherwise through a very fine strainer.
  • Reheat the soup and season to taste with salt.

Make the Noodles – while the soup is cooking make the noodles

  • Measure the flour and salt out on your counter and make a well in the center
  • Crack the eggs in the center and stir with a fork

make homemade noodles

  • Slowly incorporate the flour bringing it in from the sides until it all mixes in and forms a dough. If the dough seems dry add a little water a tablespoon at a time. Knead for about 10 minutes, form into a disc and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

roll out dough

  • At this point you can either choose to roll the dough out with a pin or use the KitchenAid pasta roller attachment if you have it. I have done it both ways.
  • I decided to make thicker noodles for this batch of soup. You can roll them out thinner and make angel hair type noodles or go with thick noodles like these.

cut noodles

  • After the dough strips have been either hand rolled or put through a roller dust them with flour and lay them on top of each other and cut to the desired size.

let noodles dry

  • Sprinkle with flour and spread on a baking sheet to let dry until ready to cook.

Cook the noodles

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Drop the noodles in and cook until they rise to the top – cook time will depend on the size of noodle you cut. These thick ones I made took about three minutes.
  • Drain and rinse.

homemade chicken noodle soup

To Serve the Soup:

  • Place noodles and some of the reserved chicken you picked from the cooked bird in a bowl.
  • Pour the soup over top and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

How Was the Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup?

Chicken soup made from free range birds is so much more flavorful than from factory birds. Trust me on this; I have been making chicken soup for close to 45 years. There was a time when you could go into the supermarket and find a stewing hen but I haven’t seen one in a long time. Maybe it depends on where you live. I know the best soup I have made has come from these old birds here on the farm. We are not going to be butchering chickens any more, it’s just not for us. The 10 years we did so was long enough and we are scaling back how much meat we eat. If I want chicken now I buy an organic, free range bird from the natural market.

Michael Ruhlman’s Easy Overnight Chicken Stock in From Scratch

I will have a full review for Chef Ruhlman’s cookbook next week. To make his soup you first need to have made a roast chicken. The carcass is what is used to make his very easy stock. The cookbook really shows you how to get the most out of each item he features. Look below my homemade chicken soup recipe card for one with Chef Ruhlman’s recipe.

 

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