This was a mainstay comfort food of our childhood, and every Thanksgiving after the carcass had been plucked nearly clean she would get out the stock pot and make gallons of turkey noodle soup for the freezer.
leftover chicken or turkey with bones
6-10 stalks of celery
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
noodles or rice
Large stock pot with lid.
making the stock to serve with noodles use 3 stalks of celery. If you’re using rice,
use the 5 stalks. As mom put it, “for some reason rice always wants
more celery.” Use the whole celery stalk (leaves and all) for best
flavor in the stock.
Strip any pieces of meat left on the bones. Discard any stuffing or herbs still in the cavity. Otherwise skin, bones, leftover pan
drippings and nameless wobbly bits go in the stock pot, meat goes in a
separate bowl you stick in the fridge until the stock (broth) is made.
Chop 4 carrots, 3-5 stalks of celery and onion into big chunks (about 1”) and toss into
the stock pot with the bones etc. Peel and crush the cloves of garlic
and add that as well.
Add water until everything’s covered. Heat
to a simmer then cover, turn down to low and let simmer for 3-4 hours.
You can also toss everything in the crock pot and let simmer all day or
overnight, but you won't get as much stock unless you have a very large
crock pot. I make this during the week in stages, first night I make
the stock, the next night I make the soup.
Strain through a
colander into a bowl. Go through the colander and pick off any
additional bits of meat you missed the first time. Toss them in the
stock pot, then discard everything else you strained out. Pour the
contents of the bowl back into the stock pot or freeze to use later.
the heat back up to medium until the stock is simmering. Chop remaining celery and carrots into bite-size pieces, and add to pot. Add the meat
you set aside earlier plus noodles or rice, and simmer according to rice or noodle package directions (about 20 minutes for white rice, 40 for wild rice, 10 for rice noodles, 15 for corn/quinoa noodles). Salt
and pepper to taste.
stock or the soup can be frozen in freezer-bags. It’ll last longer if
you make sure there’s no air trapped in the bag. The stock can be
frozen in ice cube trays, then bagged for use in flavoring rice, pasta
The traditional chicken soup recipe leaves a lot of
room to play with flavors. Try adding artichoke hearts or spinach in
the last ten minutes of cooking, or maybe a little lemon juice, black
pepper, wild rice and fresh asparagus. Up the garlic content and add
cilantro and chili peppers for a cold and flu soup.
This part of my life began when my very sick partner was diagnosed with Celiac. Even the slightest exposure to gluten can make him very ill for several days, so I have pursued gluten-free options with thorough aggression. In the U.S. a recent surge of gluten awareness means we have more choices than ever, but it still means hunting and analyzing and tracking down parent companies. After several years now of doing so, I want to share my tricks and tips with others who are still struggling.