Seasonal Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (Gluten Free)
I thought it would be fitting to share this super cozy, homemade chicken noodle soup on a cold, dreary, winter day here in Boston...because honestly is there anything better than a warm soup on a cold day?
Once the cold weather hits here in New England I am all for the soups. We usually make 1-2 different soups per week, which each usually makes 4-6 servings. That means that for our family of two, one soup can feed us for dinner, lunch, and usually at least one person for another dinner.
Talk about budget friendly!
When I was growing up, my Mom made everything from scratch...and worked as an ultrasonographer. Yes, she may very well be a real-life super-hero, and certainly is to me. Her and my grandmother are 100% the reason why I developed such a love for cooking, and a true appreciation for seasonal eating, and where our food comes from.
I was that little kid at the Italian market with my grandma picking out fresh vegetables, seafood that literally came out of the water that day, and fresh, local meat. I won't lie, the trips to the butcher shop were never my favorite, but I now am so impressed by how she refused to buy poor quality meat, produce, etc. when it started to become readily available in grocery markets.
She truly believed without having the education to back it up that our food was only as good as the ingredients we used to make it, and our food was the foundation for our culture, our health, and was not to be compromised. Grandma, I wish I had appreciated and understood everything you stood for then like I do now.
This soup is a perfect example of using our food to help support our health. It is no coincidence that during the winter time, chicken noodle soup is what every Mom goes for in helping her kids get over the flu, or warm them up on a cold night. It is so healthy for our guts, filled with so many amazing nutrients, and the perfect seasonal meal for a cold day during cold and flu season.
That is why it is so important to make soups from scratch, and use the best ingredients possible...especially when it comes to the meat. This soup is so good for our bodies because it is filled with healthy fat and collagen from the pasture raised chicken, which because it was pasture raised is filled with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
There are also plenty of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, and balanced electrolytes from the broth. The only way to get these benefits is to make this soup from scratch, and I am so excited to share this recipe with you because I want you to see that it really isn't as hard or overwhelming to make as you may think.
So much of learning to cook is just getting comfortable in the kitchen. Like anything, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel.
So lets get on to this recipe shall we?
When making this recipe my best advice is to make good use of the time when your broth is simmering. Get all of your vegetables chopped ahead of time and your extra bowls/cutting boards ready so that when the broth is done, your meal can come together in under 20 minutes.
seasonal homemade chicken noodle soup (gluten free)
One Whole Chicken - ~3-4 lbs (Pasture Raised)
3 Carrots (1 in the broth, 2 in the soup)
4 Celery Stalks (2 in the broth, 2 in the soup)
2 Onions (1 in the broth, 1 for the soup)
8 cups Water
Rinse the chicken off with cool water, and place in a large pot.
Chop one carrot in half, two celery stalk in half, and an onion into quarters, and place in the pot with the chicken,
Add 8 cups of water and bring to boil.
Add salt and pepper, roughly 1/2 tsp each.
Reduce to medium heat, and allow to simmer for 25 minutes. Checking to see if the chicken has been cooked thoroughly before removing. Depending on your pot the chicken may not be completely submerged in the water, so make sure to flip the chicken halfway through to ensure it is cooked evenly.
While your stock is cooking, cut your remaining vegetables into small pieces, and place to the side.
Once your chicken is done cooking, remove the pot from the stove, taking your chicken from the pot and placing the chicken on a cutting board for cutting.
Next, taking a large colander, pour your broth through the colander, catching it in a separate large bowl.
You now will have all your leftover vegetables from the stock, and fat from the chicken caught in the colander. See below what I recommend for using your soup stock vegetables for.*
Pour the broth back into your large pot and place on the stove over medium heat. Add all of your chopped vegetables, and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Start to bring water to boil in a medium size pot for your pasta. Once boiling cook the pasta based on the directions on the packaging, making sure not to overcook (gluten free pasta is very easy to undercook, so it is always best to error on the side of caution). We typically will cook 3-4 cups of pasta, and keep some to the side for leftovers.
Drain your cooked pasta, and place to the side for adding to your soup.**
Next, chop up your chicken into bite-size pieces, and discard the chicken carcass.
Once vegetables have simmered and softened, add the chicken to the pot and simmer for another 5 minutes.
At this point, it is a good idea to taste your soup and see if you would like to add any more salt or pepper.
Once your vegetables are soft enough, remove your soup from the heat and pour into bowls.
* Typically when making soup stocks there is quite a bit of waste. Some ways to reduce this are to take the remaining vegetables from your stock, and add them to a compost. If you don't have a compost you can also allow the vegetables to cool, and then place them in a bag in the freezer. The next time you are making a blended soup, like my butternut squash soup for instance, you can easily add them to that.
** We like to add our pasta to each individual bowl to avoid making the stock too starchy. If you add all your pasta into the soup pot, when you save it for leftovers it can make the soup a little starchy, and the pasta will get very soft.