From my "Down Home Cooking" recipe box. This recipe for chicken soup has been handed down for four generations from folks of times past. As time goes by some things have been added or omitted, depending on the cook. This is my favorite version.
Ingredients For Soup
This recipe will make about 16 one cup servings
1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 pounds
3 quarts chicken broth
4 - 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peel and leave whole
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 celery stalks, leave whole, chop off white ends and tops
2 - 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peel and leave whole, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 sprigs parsley, plus 2 teaspoons dried flakes
2 sprigs thyme, plus 1/2 teaspoon powdered
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups egg noodles
Make The Stock
Turn stove plate to medium. Wash chicken thoroughly inside and out under cold running water. Put whole chicken in the large soup pot, add chicken broth. Set pot on the medium heat. Add the two carrots, two celery stalks and the one whole onion. Add the parsley, thyme, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Add enough water to make sure the chicken is immersed in liquid.
Let broth come to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer till the chicken is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Skim the surface often to remove any foam.
When chicken is done and very tender, remove it and set it in a large bowl. Strain the broth through a fine sieve, discard vegetables and pour the stock into a large bowl.
Make The Soup
Skim off any fat off the top of the stock and discard. Melt butter in a large Dutch overn over medium heat. Add the rest of the vegetables and saute till onions are tender, about ten minutes. Whiles vegetables are cooking, remove the skin and bones from chicken and discard. Cut chicken into small pieces. Add chicken to vegetables along with the broth. Cook soup about one hour, stirring often, till all vengetables are tender. Carefully stir in the egg noodles, 1/2 parsley flakes, 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Heat till noodles are tender, this should take about 10 - 15 minutes. Serve while hot.
For low sodium soup, use unsalted butter and low sodium chicken broth.
If you would prefer dumplings in your chicken soup, omit the noodles in the above recipe and replace with dumplings. You will need to make the dough for them before you start preparation for the soup stalk. You can make the dough the day before, it is best if refrigerated overnight anyway.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup ice water
Place all ingredients except water in a large bowl. I use my electric mixer on low to blend till mixture is coarse, like peas. You can use a pastry blender if preferred. Add the water a little at a time and blend thoroughly. Divide dough in half, wrap and refrigerate over night or for at least two hours.
Make dumplings while soup is still heating. Take half the dough, shape it into a ball and place on floured surface. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into small squares, about 2 inches. Drop squares into simmering soup. They will puff up. Let dumplings simmer in soup for about fifteen minutes. They should be moist on the outside and fluffy inside.
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