To me, there is nothing more comfortable than homemade soups—especially on a cold night, but anytime, really, as a comfort food.
One of my co-workers recently had surgery and is having a tough recovery. My first instinct was to say, “I’ll bring soup! What kind of soup do you want?” He wanted chicken noodle.
I am no chicken noodle connoisseur, but I think the one I made tonight is pretty excellent. The secret is this: USE THE INNER LEAVES OF THE CELERY. And yes, I stole that directly from Rachael Ray—and my mother. Who might have also stolen it from Rachael. But it gives the soup an entirely different flavor that is so … right!
My mom’s potato soup has the same secret. It is one she served often when I was growing up, and it’s taken me years to get it right. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s not, but it always makes me feel like home.
1 can chunk white chicken, drained, or 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
salt and pepper
4-6 c. chicken broth (I use water and chicken base)
10 oz. egg noodles
Coat the bottom of a heavy-bottomed dutch oven or stockpot with olive oil. Dice onions, carrots, celery, and parsley and saute in the oil until very soft (10-15 minutes). Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add chicken and broth. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for a while—at least half an hour.
Bring it back to a boil and add egg noodles. Boil until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
Dice onion and celery. Melt butter in a dutch oven or stockpot. Saute onion and celery in butter until soft. Add salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, dice the potatoes. Add to the veggies in the pot. Add stock until the potatoes are almost all covered with liquid. Bring to a boil and let cook until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.
Turn back the heat to medium-low and add the milk. Let simmer for a few minutes. Crumble the bacon into the soup and stir in. Garnish with cheese and green onion if desired.
My mom always makes little “rivels,” tiny dumplings for the soup. This is a very approximate recipe because I haven’t made this in a while. So you just kinda have to make it into a batter you can make into tiny dumplings.
Whisk egg. Add baking powder. Keep adding flour until it is crumbly. Drop by teaspoonfuls into simmering soup. Let cook about 10 minutes.