Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leftover Meat: Kate's Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

My husband and I have enjoyed our long weekend by putting up our Christmas tree, catching up on our favorite television shows, and trying to make a dent in the plentiful leftovers from our Thanksgiving dinner. Not having to cook for several days gave way for time to catch up on sleep and cleaning. However today I found myself cooking up a storm to prepare for a long and busy week ahead. I’d imagine that many people are currently trying to find innovative ways to finish up food from last Thursday. While we typically enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers in their original state, if I have a lot of turkey, I’ll sometimes turn it into a soup.

My husband loves my homemade chicken noodle soup. After Thanksgiving, turkey meat and turkey broth can take the place of chicken, however I’ll make this recipe throughout the winter with chicken. I find myself buying rotisserie chickens for various recipes, and I’ll use the leftover meat (usually dark meat) to toss into this soup. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover celery and carrots in my refrigerator. I like to use the crinkle-cut carrots, because they look nice, however today I had leftover shredded carrots from a recipe I made for myself.

I have adapted my soup to match my husband’s preferences, which includes a lot of egg noodles (you can substitute whichever pasta you prefer). I make it particularly chunky for him, but if you like more broth, you can add a fourth container of broth. The peas and parsley add a lot of color to the soup. By using cooked chicken and letting the pasta cook in the soup, this is a very easy recipe. These days you can even purchase your mirepoix pre-chopped at the grocery store to make this even quicker. This makes a ton of soup. You'll be set for the week!

Kate’s Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped (or shredded, or sliced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (32 oz.) containers of low sodium chicken broth (use only 3 for an extra chunky soup)
3 bay leaves
1 (16 oz.) package broad egg noodles
2 cups chicken, shredded or diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Add egg noodles and reduce to low heat. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until noodles are cooked. Add chicken, peas, and parsley. Discard bays leaves and serve immediately.

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