Have you ever tried making chicken soup from scratch? Homemade soup tends to be bland, mushy, or downright crappy. Here’s about as easy a noodle-free chicken soup recipe as I can muster without throwing my back out. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this recipe, but only as a garnish. You can substitute parsley. I hope you enjoy it!
Per serving, this soup will cost you much less than Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. And that’s if you use organic ingredients! If you are on a budget and want to cut costs by using non-organic (not recommended, especially for the chicken) ingredients, you might even be able to make this even cheaper per serving than Aldi’s Chicken Noodle Soup!
Total time – 2 hours
Servings – about 75 cups
Step 1: The Chicken Prep – Ingredients
-2 five-pound chickens
-6 whole carrots, halved
-6 stalks of celery, halved
-1 medium white/yellow onion, peeled and quartered
Remove the baggie of gizzards from the chicken and put them in the pot with the whole birds. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot, fill with water (until the chickens are submerged) and bring to a boil. Simmer for 75 minutes, or until meat is very tender and almost falling off the bone.
Remove whole chickens from the pot. Strain out large vegetables from pot (discard veggies, or use them as inexpensive projectiles to throw at the mailman) and skim remaining stock for any solids. After the chickens cool, remove all meat (shred by hand) and place into the pot full of chicken stock. If the chicken has been disrespectful at all, feel free to yell at it a little before placing it into the pot.
Put any bones/connective tissue/gizzards into a Crock Pot. (These will be used to make delicious/nutritious bone broth… A future post… Preview pic below… Stay tuned!)
Step 2: The Reckoning – Ingredients
-All chicken flesh you removed from the mutilated, dismembered carcasses
-8 Tbsp butter or coconut oil (one, the other, or a mix)
-2 to 3 medium white or yellow onions, diced
-3 pounds carrots, sliced
-2 pounds(-ish) celery (… I mean, who likes celery anyway? Just enough to give texture and flavor without the whole preachy “celery burns more calories than it contains” angle), sliced, diced, or otherwise cut into tiny, edible pieces
-1 to 2 pounds whole green beans (frozen works fine)
(If you don’t want to chop everything, you can use the soup starter from Trader Joes. I used 3 of them for this, and it took care of the celery/onion. I just added about 2.5 pounds more sliced carrots. Oh, and get a mandolin slicer! They make slicing carrots easy! Check Amazon for good ones under $15.)
-1 Tbsp sea salt
-2 Tbsp cumin
-4 Tbsp minced garlic
-2 tsp garlic powder
-2 inch peeled, minced ginger (or 1 Tbsp powdered ginger, if you can’t stand to peel and mince it without feeling like a serial killer)
-3 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
-2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
-Black pepper (to taste, or until you sneeze 3 times)
Heat butter or coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and add sea salt, cumin, garlic, ginger, rosemary, and thyme. Stir the seasonings well and let them cook briefly until aromatic. Add onions/celery/carrots and sauté. (This is a lot of vegetables, so you may need to sauté in a couple smaller batches.) Add veggies to chicken stock. Add green beans and black pepper. Add water to the stock as needed. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Test the flavor of the soup. Quizzing it on state capitals will work fine. Add additional herbs/spices until it tastes how you want it.
Sure, the initial cost seems high ($50-$60, if you shop around to make sure you’re not paying much more than $3/lb for the chicken), but when you’re getting 75 servings, it’s so affordable! And that doesn’t even count the quarts (potentially gallons) of nourishing bone broth that come with it! The 2 hour prep time may appear a little long, but you will save yourself meal prep time for weeks after!