Fall is time for homemade soup. Yes, I am on a soup kick. I know this is my third soup-type post in a row (if you consider cioppino soup, which I don’t). But it’s Fall, people! You gotta have soup when there’s a chill in the air and the leaves start to turn.
If you have tried your hand at homemade chicken soup in the past and found it so bland you resorted to using store-bought chicken stock as a (salty) base — click on over to No Salt Chicken Stock to create your own healthy basic stock that can be used for this and many other recipes. It freezes nicely to save for another Fall day.
Once you have your very own homemade no-salt healthy yummy chicken stock simmering away on your stovetop, this recipe calls for adding only one teaspoon of salt for a 12-cup pot of soup; you may want to add more to taste, but I suspect not much more because of the secret ingredient — poultry seasoning.
If your only experience with poultry seasoning has been in your Thanksgiving stuffing, give this aromatic spice blend another try. I like to get good old McCormick’s, which has thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper and nutmeg. Try any brand you like; there are several takes on poultry seasoning as some contain ginger, some coriander, some oregano … choose one that sounds good to you, as long as it does NOT include salt. You just don’t need it and you can better control the salt content by adding it yourself at the end. Bon appetit!
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp olive oil (if using fresh veggies)
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
12 cups (96oz) homemade No Salt Chicken Stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon no-salt poultry seasoning (I use McCormick)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 – 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup noodles or any pasta
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, green beans, carrots, kernel corn, or any combination
1 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cracked black pepper
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
grated parmesan (optional)
If using fresh veggies (for frozen veggies, skip to #2):
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tsp. oil over medium high heat until oil shimmers. While oil heats, cut veggies into bite-size pieces.
Add veggies to pot and saute over medium-high heat until just al dente, about 4 or 5 minutes. Do not overcook! Remove veggies to a plate.
2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pot and heat on medium high heat until oil shimmers. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock*, bay leaf, pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic and onion powders to pot. Bring to a boil.
*If making stock and soup at same time, do not chill stock; once strained, add to onions, celery, and garlic.
4. Add pasta, stir and return to a boil. Boil until pasta is just al dente (don’t overcook), about 5 to 7 min. Add chicken meat and vegetables; bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium.
5. Simmer 4-5 minutes until heated through (frozen vegetables should have softened).
6. Add salt and pepper, and stir. Turn off heat and let soup rest, partially covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper needed, and optionally, add red pepper flakes to taste.
7. Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese (optional).