My brother and fellow foodie called me the other day while I was eating a bowl of this soup. He asked if I was going to post about it and I told him no that chicken noodle soup is just too homey and no one would be interested. He told me I should post it because it is the homey stuff folks need to learn. The art of homey is being lost to trendy gourmet, not that there is anything wrong with that but we must keep the basics alive. So here it is, I love chicken noodle soup and I even like to eat a bowl of it for breakfast, especially on chilly mornings. This soup is your classic chicken noodle soup, nothing unusual or gourmet-ish with this one. I make it in huge batches for us to eat all week, share with sick folks, or freeze. You’ll need a big pot for this recipe.
Chicken Noodle Soup
3 T. olive oil
1/2-3/4 small bag baby carrots, sliced
one large Vidalia onion, chopped
6-8 stalks celery sliced, leaves too
1 tsp. fresh thyme
4- 32 ounce boxes good chicken broth, I use Trader Joe’s Free Range
1 heaping T. tomato paste
6 chicken breast halves
1 pound noodles
1 cup orzo
fresh cracked black pepper
In a large stock pot heat oil and add carrots, onions, celery and thyme. Cook until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, chicken, and tomato paste to the pot, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer covered until chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile cook noodles according to package directions in salted water, in the last 6 minutes add the orzo, once cooked drain reserving 3-4 cups pasta water. Remove cooked chicken and shred using two forks. Return chicken to pot. Add the cooked pasta, salt and pepper to taste and heat through. If you think there is not enough broth add enough reserved pasta water and re-season if necessary. Serve piping hot with grated Parmesan cheese, crackers or buttered artisan bread.
Note- Remember that the noodles will continue to absorb the broth so be sure to add enough pasta water to compensate. Also do not be afraid to add plenty of salt, most folks under season their soups. If you like more veggies then add more. This is a good basic guide to good soup. The tomato paste is my mother’s secret weapon. Tomato adds depth and color to even clear broth soups, try it and notice the difference it makes.