Erin’s Chicken Noodle Soup

by Hilary Gauntt on October 9, 2011

My dear friend Linda Grimes sent us this sweet story and a truly wonderful recipe for a soul satisfying soup that is a meal in itself.  Now that Linda’s son Dave and Erin have a darling new baby boy, Rob, there are plenty of opportunities for Linda to return the favor.

“I had surgery which required me to stay at home for a few days; someone was supposed to be with me for 48 hours after the surgery.  My first night home, my nurses were my daughter Dana and my daughter-in-law Erin.  Erin brought me a huge pot of this homemade soup.  It was all I wanted to eat for the first few days; I can still remember how good it tasted to me.

I will never forget eating a bowl of her soup and then listening to the beautiful sound of their voices talking and laughing with eachother as they had a “sleepover” at my house.  It was the first time in my adult life that my children were taking care of me. Even though I was physically uncomfortable, I was profoundly happy.”

Erin’s Chicken Noodle Soup

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped

6 ribs celery, chopped (or less)

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup all pupose flour

8 cups chicken broth

4 cups shredded cooked chicken (see below)

4 bay leaves

1 Tbs. dried marjoram

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles

2 Tbs. chopped fresh marjoram

2 Tbs. fresh sage or other herbs of your choice

To prepare the chicken:

Buy a whole chicken with bone in and skin on.  (I used 3 large half breasts insted). Put it in a pot, pour in enough chicken broth to barely cover the chicken, and add one choppped onion, 3 garlic cloves and 1 bay leaf, and simmer on medium for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked and shreds easily. Strain the broth and set aside to use in the soup.

To make the soup:

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium low heat.  Add the onion and cook 15 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.  Add the carrots and celery (optional) and cook 10 minutes longer or until softened, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring constantly.

Sprinkle the flour over the cooked vegetables.  Cook 3 to 4  minutes, stirring constantly while scraping up the flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan. Slowly add the broth (using the broth from the chicken and adding more to bring it to 8 cups) and stir to mix thoroughly.  Add the shredded chicken, bay leaves, dried marjoram, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Add the egg noodles, fresh marjoram and other herbs (optional) and stir to mix thoroughly.  Simmer 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are al dente.  Discard the bay leaves and serve.

Serves 6 , Yield 2.5  to 3 quarts.  Feel free to leave out celery or sage or to choose another vegetable or herbs such as cabbage or spinach, small potatoes or thyme. Grated parmesan cheese is a tasty addition.

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