Tag Archives: Stock (food)

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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I’ve had enough of this cold weather! Now to all my readers from colder climates, bear with me. I know I live in Florida, but it does get really chilly here! And because it will go from 80 degrees one day to 40 degrees the next, everyone around here is constantly sick this time of year. Plus, there’s something about 40 degrees in Tampa that is so different from 40 degrees in Illinois. The humidity here pierces right through your bones and its just awful. I am SO ready for spring.

But since we still have a few more weeks of winter here, and since hubby and I have had the sniffles, I decided to make a hearty homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner. Since we’ve gone BPA free its really hard to eat canned soup, but homemade is always 10,000 times better! I can’t wait till I can figure out how to can my own soup. Stay tuned in the coming months. My mother in law is bringing me a pressure canner and it will be SO on!

Now, because I like you so much, and I’m such a nice person, and I’m on a chicken noodle high… I’m giving you my TOP SECRET ingredient. This is the je n’sais quoi, the piece de resistance, the ingredient of all ingredients, that transforms your soup into something wonderful! It is…. Celery Salt! I’m not sure exactly why, but it gives the soup a wholeness that is particularly satisfying.

So here’s my soul warming, body warming, chase away the sniffles, make you feel happy, comfort food of all comfort foods, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts (about 2 cups cut into 1/2 cubes)
  • 3-4 Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cartons of organic chicken stock (do not use canned, use the cartons that have the Tetra-pak label on the bottom. If you have homemade stock even better!)
  • 2 Cups of noodles (Use any noodle you like. I used whole wheat rotini. You could use macaroni, fusilli, egg noodles, or even broken up spaghetti noodles)
  • 1 T Tarragon
  • 1 T Parsley
  • 2 t Celery Salt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of flour (optional)
  • 1 cup of cream (optional)

Here’s what you do:

In a large pot saute’ the vegetables in the olive oil, butter, and some salt & pepper, until they are slightly tender. Add the chicken (and a little more salt & pepper) after about 7 minutes. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through. Allow everything to very slightly brown. Add the herbs and celery salt and pour the stock over everything. Stir well. Add 2 cartons full of plain water as well. Simmer the soup on medium/low heat for about 20 minutes to allow all the flavors to marry. For a slightly thicker soup add a slurry of 1/4 cup flour mixed thoroughly with equal parts cold water. Quickly stir in the slurry. If you pour it in too slowly it might form a dumpling (which could be nice! lol, I figured this out by accident.) When you are almost ready to eat, add the noodles and cook for about 12 minutes or until desired tenderness. If you like, lower the heat to a slow simmer and add 1 cup of cream, then simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Do not boil it once you add the cream. This just adds a little bit of extra creaminess to the soup that is very nice. You can skip this if you don’t want the extra calories. Serve with lots of pepper, and maybe some homemade biscuits! Yum.

Enjoy!

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Crockpot Beef Stew with Pumpkin Beer

Well in Florida the weather is still balmy and warm, but the odd breeze gives me hope that Fall will be falling on us in the coming weeks (okay maybe months).

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of crockpot recipes on Pinterest and I figured it was time for me to invest in one of my own. I had one awhile ago but it was broken during a move and I never replaced it. I saw this really cute damask pattern crockpot at Target for only $25 so I picked it up along with some beef, carrots, onions, potatoes, celery and mushrooms.

Here’s a super easy recipe for a hearty fall stew.

What you need:

  • 1 lb stew beef cubed
  • 4-5 small/medium potatoes (or 3 large ones), cut into medium cubes
  • Half of a red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of baby carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1-2 cups chopped celery
  • 1-2 cups whole baby mushrooms
  • 2-3 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2-3 teaspoons of tarragon
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 1 beer, ale or dark beers are best

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the crockpot, turn it on high. Mine takes a good half hour to heat up, so you may want to start this before you even chop the veggies.

Chop all your veggies. No need for precision here. This is a rustic stew, so make them as large or as small as you want. I try to make all the pieces uniform in size, about 2/3 of an inch.

Next, toss all the veggies plus the whole mushrooms (you can cut them too if you want but I like them whole) and the beef into a large bowl. Add the herbs, salt & pepper, and garlic and toss so everything gets coated. Then pour everything into the crockpot. (If you have a larger crockpot you could do this inside the pot but mine isn’t large enough to toss everything, so I find it easier to do this step in a large bowl.)

If you like my thyme spice bottle, here’s how I made my spice bottle collection.

 

Pour one entire beer over everything. I used Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat because that’s what was in my fridge, but normally I’ll use a darker beer like guinness or Newcastle. You can use whatever you want. I recommend a more deeply flavoured beer to compliment the beef, something like Corona or Budlight wouldn’t really give you the nice round flavour that you’re looking for. Any kind of autumn ale would go nicely in this stew. Fill the empty bottle to the top with water and pour that into the pot too.

 

Sometimes the beer can give a slightly bitter taste to the stew. If you don’t prefer that flavour you can add about 2 Tbsp of sugar and stir it in. This will cut the bitterness and I promise it won’t make the stew sweet. Put the lid on, and forget about it for the next 6-7 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like a nice thick stew. If you do too, you can make what is called a slurry to thicken it up. When you’ve got about an hour left, ladle out about a cup of the beef stock from the pot into a small bowl. Add 2-3 Tbsp of flour to your hot stock and whisk until it is completely incorporated and there are no lumps of flour. It may help to sprinkle the flour in a little at a time to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Pour the slurry back into the pot and give it a good stir.

 

 

Let the stew cook for about another hour to cook out the flour, and then you are ready to serve! This stew is delicious with some nice buttery biscuits. Enjoy!