This is the soup I want when I’m under the weather. The soup is very lightly seasoned with only a little salt and some poultry seasoning, just enough to add some flavor but not bother the palate when I’m not feeling well. I usually make a batch once every three months or so and freeze it so that I always have some ready to pull out.
My toddler and preschooler like this, but managing the broth is still a challenge for their self-feeding skills. So I just ladle up the noodles, meat, and vegetables and drain off much of the broth for them. Cut up the noodles so that it’s easier for the little ones to pick up with utensils, or their fingers if they are still at that stage.
[Updated March 3, 2008]
- 1 (3 to 4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces, skin on
- 6 quarts/liters water
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 3 carrots, cut into small wedges
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 or 6 grinds fresh black pepper
- poultry seasoning, a pinch or two
- 1 pound (454 g) linguine or homemade noodles
- Place chicken pieces in the bottom of the stock pot, thighs on the bottom, then the legs, then the breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer until the skin is pulled back and the meat is white, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken pieces and place on a cutting board. Skim the foam off the top of the soup. Add the celery, carrots, onion, and poultry seasoning. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Allow the chicken to cool so that you don’t get burned while handling it. Remove the skin and cut away all the meat. Cut meat into small bite-sized pieces. Add meat back to the soup. Taste the broth about twenty minutes after the chicken has been added. Add salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning to taste. (Note: My boys like the dark meat, so I've started putting just the white meat back into the pot and saving the thighs and legs for them to nosh on.)
- About fifteen to twenty minutes before you are ready to serve, add the noodles to the soup and cook until just past al dente.
8 to 10-quart stock pot with lid
You can use other seasonings instead of poultry seasoning. Marjoram or sage will work well.