The recipe is hardly a ‘recipe’. Mostly it is made up of approximations, a pinch here and a dash there. Each person who cooks it finds a way to make it their own. My mom’s tastes different from my grandma’s soup and my version of the chicken noodle soup has a unique flavor too. But the process of cooking all day and enlisting the help of little hands still stays the same.
I am so grateful for those memories of my grandma cooking and the time I spent at the counter watching my mom cook as well. But to be honest, I never inherited all of their culinary skills. My husband usually does most of the real cooking. I am better suited for baking sweets and goodies. But somehow I did get the ‘chicken noodle gene’. And as the weather cools, I like to put that trait to good use. So in the spirit of women sharing the joy of cooking with other women, I am going to let you in on our family secret. Who knows, maybe it will inspire you to create a new tradition in your home.
“Recipe” for Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup
-2 cans cream of chicken soup
-salt, pepper, additional seasonings as desired
To start the soup, first begin by filling a big pot with water and boiling chicken breasts. Include an onion, celery and salt/pepper. No exact measurements, just do what ‘looks’ right. The water will later be used as part of the broth.
While the chicken is boiling, dice celery and carrots for the soup. I like to teach my daughter how to use kitchen tools safely. So depending on your comfort level and age of your child- hand over the knife and supervise!
Next, my Grandma always liked to make her own noodles. Yes, you can substitute for the store- bought kind. But at least once, show your child how to make homemade egg noodles! The recipe is always changing, but this time I mixed 4 cups of flour with 2 eggs. I added a pinch of salt and water as needed. The consistency of the dough needs to be slightly firm, so add water as needed. If you add too much water, just throw in more flour.
Then on a floured surface, roll out the dough. Once it is nice and thin, use a pizza cutter to slice the noodles. Hang them to dry- hangers help.
I let my chicken cook all day. This gives time for the noodles to dry and the broth to get some flavor. But once the chicken is fully cooked, you can remove everything from the broth and using a strainer. Make sure to save the water- that is your broth. Discard the onion and celery. Shred the chicken breasts with a fork.
Now it’s time to assemble the soup. Using your ‘chicken water’ as the base for the broth, add 2 cans cream of chicken, 2 cups of chicken broth, the shredded chicken, diced carrots and celery, and noodles. If needed, you can add a bit more water.
Bring everything to a boil. Now is a good time to add seasonings. Besides salt and pepper, I like to add allspice, Tony Chacere Original Seasoning, and Louisiana Hot Sauce. We like a little kick around here!
Usually it takes about 30 minutes to fully cook the noodles and bring the veggies to the perfect tenderness. By then the house is so full of the yummy aroma- we are ready to eat. I think Grandma’s soup goes best with soft, sliced French bread. And don’t worry- store bought tastes great. Unlike Grandma, I never make my own bread!
This article was originally shared over at North Texas Kids
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