Soup's On!!

I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup the week after Christmas for my parents arrival. It's easy to make and tastes delicious and feeds lots of people - for days. We polished that off and I made minestrone soup for a family dinner for New Year's Eve. A few days later I made another chicken noodle soup. We would finish a soup, I cleaned the pot, put it back on the stove and started on another! Luckily I was able to keep the soup in its pot right on the back porch off the kitchen! So much nicer than putting it in a bunch of smaller containers and then fitting it into the refrigerator. The minestrone even froze out there and I heated it up on the stove and we ate it for lunch. I have decided that I am going to cook LOTS of soups this winter. So easy, healthy, inexpensive and YUMMY. And soups are great for cleaning out your fridge - you can just go through and throw whatever you have in your fridge into the soup! My super easy chicken noodle soup recipe is as follows :

You will need :
A large stock pot :: mine is 11 quarts (from Ikea - I highly recommend it)
1 roaster chicken 3-4 pounds
bullion - I use Better Than Bullion - a stock concentrate
salt and pepper

First - fill pot with water to completely cover the chicken. Take chicken out of packaging and remove innards - place in pot on stove top. Bring water to a boil and skim off foam as it rises to surface. Lower to a simmer and let cook for about 45 minutes. Chicken will bob to surface when done. Carefully remove chicken from pot. I use a large wooden spoon stuck in cavity of chicken and then another large spoon to support it underneath to move to a large bowl. Let the chicken cool, and cover pot to keep water hot. Once cool enough - pull the chicken apart! This is not really fun - but you will be surprised at where all the juicy meaty bits are hidden. Get as much off as you can, set aside meat.

Then chop up lots of carrots and celery!! No need to peel carrots but give them a good rinsing. I use lots of carrots - 9 or 10. Just depends on what you like in your soup. Add all chopped veggies to soup and heat to simmer again. Add bullion to your liking - use a mix of bullion and salt to get the flavor right. Add chicken back to pot and cook until carrots are just fork tender. DON'T over cook - they will get too mushy. Better to undercook and then let them stay in pot with hot soup to finish off. Adjust seasonings and serve with rice, pasta, quinoa or bread! You can freeze small batches and bring them out for lunches - or just keep the pot outside and bring in to eat. My plan:  I am going to just keep the pot full of some sort of soup all winter long! I will share any good recipes that I come across.

In the meantime here are a few blogs and websites to check out for great soup ideas ::

Cooking Light  The Skinny Fork :: here search SOUPS  Cooks Illustrated  Martha Stewart Soups