Servings: 8-10 bowls
Storage Life of Ingredients: 1 year
A simple comfort food that you'll turn to time and again. This particular recipe is very simple and can be altered to your own tastes.
This soup can also be pressure canned and frozen. When choosing either of these methods for preserving, do not add the noodles. That will need to be added during the reheating process. When pressure canning, do not add the butter, milk, or cream of chicken soup. Dairy and starch products should never be pressure canned. Starch products also typically don't do well when frozen.
This recipe was adapted from one given to me by Carolyn Johnson, a woman in a neighborhood that I lived in about a decade ago. She was an avid canner and had many cool old-fashioned recipes that were handed down to her. This soup was always requested at events. And she was so thoughtful...if a neighbor was sick, they received a batch of this delicious chicken noodle soup!
Step 1: Heat oil or butter in dutch oven. Add onion and cook 4-6 minutes.
Step 2: Add broth, carrots, and celery and boil until carrots and celery start to get tender (approx 10 minutes). While it's boiling, add the seasonings. You can take some liberties here. I never measure, though I've given some estimates above for how much of the different seasonings I typically add. I have, however, also added parsley, sage, and other seasonings just to give it a little different flavor. So feel free to go off the beaten path to flavor the soup how you want.
Step 3: Add noodles and chicken and cook until just al dente according to package directions. I like the old fashioned egg noodles, but you could use the spiral kind as well. Be sure not to cook your noodles too much...you still have to add a few more ingredients!
Step 4: You can do this next step in a couple different ways. I used to just dump the evaporated milk and the cream of chicken soup in to the pot and whisk until smooth. Now, I put the cream of chicken soup into a bowl and add some of the hot broth to the bowl, gradually whisking it in. This way, I don't have to try to work around the noodles, chicken, and veggies to get a smooth broth. Add the whisked liquid back into the soup and stir. Bring up to temp again.
Optional step 5: At this point, I usually give it a little taste and add seasonings until I get it just the way I like it.
As a variation, you don't actually have to add the cream of chicken soup or the evaporated milk. You can stop right after step 3. The chicken noodle soup at this stage is a typical, brothy version (see picture below for side by side comparison). They are both good...but we prefer the creamy one a little more!
Serve!!! Ummm...with breadsticks!!! This is one of my kids' favorites. They're always asking, "Mom, what's for dinner?" (individually, of course). Last night, my response was "chicken noodle soup" and every single one of them cheered (individually, of course!).
This soup can also be canned after an altered step 3. Just don't add the noodles. And use oil instead of butter. In order to save room, I also use chicken bouillon, but with only about half the water. You also don't need to boil as long since you will be cooking the celery, carrots, and chicken while you're processing it. I can usually get around 2 quarts of the soup for one batch of this recipe plus a little extra for immediate eating
.You'll need to pressure can (no water bath!) since you are canning meats and veggies. You should always follow the processing directions for your own canner according to your specific altitude. With this recipe, the ingredient that needs the most processing time is the chicken. I always process my own recipes according to the directions for the ingredient that takes the most time to process.
I actually made these about 5 months ago and just used them last night to make a really fast and delicious dinner. I just added water, noodles, evaporated milk, cream of chicken soup, and some garlic salt and Mrs. Dash (according to my own personal taste at the end) and boiled it until the noodles were cooked. So easy!