Easy, allergy-free chicken noodle soup

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We love soup around here!

Spring is here which also means “soup season” is on its way out.  Luckily in my part of the world, {insert sarcasm} a nice freeze is guaranteed to show up right after I decide to plant my garden.  The good news is I’ll have an excuse to make several more pots of homemade chicken noodle soup.  Since I haven’t figured out how to add extra hours to my day just yet, this meal is a time saver for a busy family.  It’s also very flexible.  While Will and I prefer chunky vegetables in any soup, some of our children tend to conjure up thoughts of arsenic and cyanide at the sight of chopped celery, carrots, or onions; veggies can be blended until completely invisible.

Of course, there is no dispute that homemade chicken noodle soup is a defensive line powerhouse against colds, the flu, and other viruses.  It contains a host of natural healing properties that rival the best OTC medications.  Even when my eyes are glazed over and limbs have been reduced to less flexibility than Barbie herself; I can turn out a pot of this with little effort.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

    • Whole fryer
    • 32 oz. organic free-range chicken broth (Organic choices tend to be gluten and additive free. Watch for high sodium content!
    • 1 – 12 oz. bag of gluten-free noodles (I use GF/DF fusilli. If there are egg allergies in your family, make sure and check the labels.)
    • 5 medium carrots
    • 5 large stalks of celery stalks
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1 to 2 pressed garlic cloves (Garlic is a natural antibiotic.)

**This soup can also be made without store-bought broth. Increase water to compensate and salt to taste.**

1.  After removing the neck (keep it!) and any giblets (with parental supervision, this can be a fun job for kids), rinse the whole fryer plus the neck and put it into a large pot.  Cover with water and cook thoroughly.  Make sure and keep an eye on the water level.  (Inattentiveness on my part has led to a robust, charred flavor a time or two.)

Boiling times vary; if you happen to forget to give your fryer enough time to thaw out completely in the refrigerator (like me on occasion) it can take a little longer.  Most of my bird’s average around 4 lbs. and boil anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.

2.  While your chicken is boiling, either chop your celery, carrots, and onion, and into small pieces or puree everything in a high powered blender.  (The latter is much quicker and makes my children a lot happier but is not nearly as pretty.  Who cares about appearance when they’ll eat it, right?)

3.  Remove boiled fryer from the pot and set into another dish to cool.

4.  Add in your chicken broth and chopped/pureed veggies plus the pressed garlic.  Boil until tender.  (Obviously, puree takes no time at all.)

5.  Debone chicken and remove as much meat from the neck as you can.  (Make sure and use all of the dark meat around the bones as well.  Connective tissue is a valuable asset to the soup’s curative properties.)  Have the meat ready to go when the noodles are finished.

6.  Add to the pot any combination of; salt, pepper, garlic powder, and/or season salt to taste.  Other options are e.g., oregano, cumin, basil, thyme, bay leaves.  (I like to experiment.)

7.  Pour in noodles and cook until almost tender. (If you cook them completely, they will become mushy very quickly.)

8.  Dump in all of the shredded chicken and stir. (We prefer lots of chicken in our soup. Adjust to your liking.)

9.  And…that’s it!

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I always keep a whole fryer, chicken broth, and noodles on hand just in case…

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