Make Ahead Chicken (Minus the Noodles) Soup

Monday, March 12, 2012

Man alive, is it really Monday?  Do I really have to go to work today?  Guess so!  This whole having a puppy and waking up twice (well once because Mr. Schwartz takes the late shift) to let him out is making me tiiireeed.  That combined with daylight savings, woof.  (no pun intended).  It is totally worth it though, I wanted to eat his face this morning.  I settled for a smoothie instead, don't worry. 

It didn't help at all that it is rainy and cold this morning in Minnesota.  What makes me happy is that I have frozen chicken (minus the noodles) soup waiting for me when I get home.  I can take Rem (our puppy) out for a walk while it defrosts and pop the noodles in and we are good to go!  

If you are like me you love having frozen soup stocked in the freezer.  I typically have a variety but always have Chicken Noodle in case a cold sneaks up on us.  There is nothing better than when Mr. Schwartz gets sick (very rare) and I say "oh honey, let me fix you some soup."  Then sneak it out of the freezer.  I honestly feel like Super Wife, so prepared for anything.  I can only imagine how great it will feel when we have kiddos.  

But, freezing the whole kit-and-kaboodle makes for mushy noodles and more casserole-like soup.  Gross.  So my little mind thought "Why not just freeze the stock, chicken and veggies then toss in the noodles when you reheat it."  Yep, I'm the smartest woman alive.   Ask my husband.  

Musical Selection:  Every Teardrop is a Waterfall by: Coldplay.  Kind of obsessed.
Start by chopping up some celery including the leafy green goodness that is attached to it.
Put it in a large stock pot with some butter.
Chop up the carrots and set them aside.  Not sure why I chopped them in this order but, just go with it.
And onion.
Toss them into the pot with celery.
Add some salt
And a good amount of black pepper.  Let the celery and onion cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the carrots.  I add them after so they don't get mushy.
Another secret for my chicken noodle soup (and any other soup that has chicken in it) rotisserie chicken. For some reason it doesn't get hard and dry when you use it.
Peel the skin off (DON'T throw it away--I'll explain later).  Peel the chicken off and set it aside.  I use just the breasts and let Mr. Schwartz eat the rest.  He will sit there with franks in one hand and chicken in the other hovered over it like an animal.  Men....
Once the veggies have cooked a bit, add the chicken stock.  I use low sodium so it doesn't get too salty. That's coming from the salt queen and I mean business.
Be sure to pour the liquid from the try of the chicken.  This stuff is pure gold.
Next, toss in the chicken skin.  I KNOW you are looking at me like I have lost it but honestly this adds so much flavor.  Do it. You will take it out later.  Truuust me.
Soup makin' day.  I was also making Chicken Wild Rice.  Why not, they basically have the same recipe.
After about 10 minutes of simmering, take the skin out of the pot.  Now you can throw it away.
Add the chicken.
Look at that.  Serious goodness.
At this point I like to add a little more flavor in the form of chicken soup base.  My favorite is Watkins.  If you know ANYONE who is a sales associate of this stuff, please leave a comment and hook me up with their info.
Taste it.  If it tastes like good chicken noodle soup, you are set.  If you think it could need a little more seasoning, add more chicken base or salt and pepper.
Ladle it into your containers and pop it into your freezer.  You could also use freezer zip top bags.  Oooor a food saver.  We are seriously thinking about investing in one.  Does anyone have one and is it worth it?  Let me know!
When your lovie is starting to feel ill (or when you are too busy/lazy to make dinner) take it out of the freezer.
Pop it into a large pot on medium high heat
Until it is completely thawed out.  Bring it to a boil
And add your noodles.  I found these adorable letter noodles but typically I use medium egg noodles.
There you go!  There is a ton of love in that bowl not to mention flavor.  This method made me so happy, no soggy noodles but the flavor of a slowly simmered stock.  Absolute perfection.  


Make Ahead Chicken (minus the noodles) Soup
4 ribs of celery plus the tops, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 medium sized carrots, chopped
2 chicken breasts from a rotisserie chicken + the skin of the chicken
8 cups of low sodium chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons chicken soup base
noodles (for serving)

Start by chopping the veggies.  Preheat a large stock pot/Dutch oven on medium-high heat.  Add the butter, celery and onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes.  While the veggies cook, peel the skin off of the chicken and set it aside DON'T throw it away.  Pull the chicken breast off of the chicken and cut it into bite sized pieces.  Set aside.  

After the veggies are cooked, add the chicken stock and chicken skin into the pot.  Also add the liquid from the tray the chicken was sitting in.   Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  

After it has simmered, add the chicken base in one tablespoon at a time.  Taste after each addition to see how it is.  If you feel like it has great flavor after one or two, stop there.  Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.  

Once you have reached the right flavor, ladle the soup into freezer safe containers or freezer tip top bags.  Place in your freezer.  

When it is time to enjoy your soup, take it out of the freezer and place it into a large stock pot.  You can speed this process up a bit by putting it in the microwave for a few minutes so it loosens from the sides and slides out into your pan.  Let it thaw completely (this doesn't take too long on medium high heat).  Once there is no more soup-iceberg, bring the soup to a boil.  Once it is boiling add your noodles.  If you overestimate the amount of noodles add additional chicken stock to thin the soup.  

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy! 

Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz 

7 comments :

  1. This looks so good, who need noodles? I'm a new follower and would love for you to stop by my brand new blog and follow, too :)

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    1. Hi Kristin! Thanks for stopping by and following the blog!! I'm following yours as well now! I can't wait to try some of your recipes!

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  2. Your recipe is being featured tomorrow at Dwell on Friday! Come by to check it out and grab a button :)

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    1. Hi Sarah! You are beyond sweet for featuring my recipes!!! Thank you for the continued support! I grabbed a button!!! Have a great weekend!

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  3. We use brown rice and my kids can't get enough of it!

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  4. I'm looking to feed approximately 20 people - is this enough soup or do I need to double or triple the recipe?

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    Replies
    1. I would at least double it depending on how big of servings you are planning on!

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