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Grandma Lil’s Famous Chicken Soup

7 Nov


What could possibly be more cozy than a big bowl of chicken soup on a chilly fall afternoon? My thoughts exactly, which is why I decided to make my Grandma’s “famous” chicken soup this weekend. Why is it famous, you ask? Because when we were kids, my cousins, brother, sister and I loved this soup so much that we thought she should sell it and make millions of dollars and become famous. Like, more famous than the Campbell’s people. Grandma never sold her recipe, but we  still always referred to it as “Grandma’s Famous Soup.” Nothing evokes stronger memories of childhood than the smell of this soup simmering away on the stove. She even used these special noodles which were really like teeny tiny dumplings that I’m sure were made by hand by the little old Hungarian ladies at her church and you can’t find in any store. Thanks to a little searching, I found some! Thank you, internet!! I did not have these on hand when I made the soup this weekend, but will definitely be making it with these noodles in the future. So, if you want the full “Grandma’s Famous Soup” experience, you can buy them online here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LRFZYI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=A10LQTPLUW9LRL  *One of these days I will figure out how to insert a hyperlink into my post!

Clearly I need a bigger pot! Chicken and veggies are working their magic. See all that foam? That’s the fat that you want to skim away every now and then.

I skimmed off the fat and added carrots and parsley. Let simmer on medium-low heat for 5 hours or more. I flipped the chicken over halfway through because my water didn’t exactly cover the chicken and I wanted to make sure that the whole chicken was cooked through. (Tip:  if you buy carrots with the tops still on them, just throw those greens in. They are very similar to parsley, and you don’t have to make an extra purchase!)

The hubs is helping shred the chicken to put back in the soup and Bella is very interested in getting her paws on some! She’s a greedy kitty.

After taking out the peppers, onion, kohlrabi, tomato, cabbage, and parsley, I put it in a strainer over a measuring cup or directly over the soup so I can pour the liquid back in the soup. Don’t throw it away before doing this! It adds so much flavor back in the soup!

Obviously nothing can compare to my Grandma’s soup, but I’m proud to say that I came pretty darn close! Enjoy! 🙂

My Grandma Lillian’s Famous Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lb whole chicken
  • 3-4 quarts of water (depending on the size of the pot you have. Use the biggest you’ve got!)
  • 5-6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Parsley greens
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • wedge of cabbage
  • 1 green pepper, cut in half
  • 2-3 pieces of chopped celery
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 Kohlrabi bulb (when in season)
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb of noodles (any kind you like! I used an egg noodle called Kluska noodles.)

Directions

  1. Put chicken in pot and cover with water. Skim the fat off the top 2-3 times when starting to boil.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and veggies. My grandma doesn’t add the parsley and carrots until the end so they aren’t too mushy, but I threw it all in and thought it was fine.
  3. Simmer the soup on medium-low heat for about 5 hours, or as long as you can stand it. The longer it cooks, the better it will be!
  4. Continue to skim the fat off the top of the soup occasionally.
  5. After about 5 hours, using a slotted spoon, take all of the veggies out of the soup except the carrots and celery and set aside. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Take off the skin, and shred the white meat into bite size pieces and put back into the soup. I only use the white meat, but feel free to add the dark if you want.
  6. Put the veggies in a strainer over the soup and get the remaining liquid back into the pot. You don’t want to lose any of that flavor! Taste the broth with a spoon at this point for seasoning.
  7. Cook your noodles separately and don’t add them to the pot or else the noodles will soak up all the liquid like a sponge. (Learned that one the hard way!)
  8. Ladle yourself a big bowl and enjoy! 🙂
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Welcome to my blog!

14 Sep

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to cook. It started in high school, watching episodes of Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals with my mom after school. I started helping her make dinner and found that chopping, mixing, stirring and sauteing was therapeutic and stress relieving. I know that for many people, cooking is the last thing that they want to do after a long day at work, but personally, it helps me unwind. In college, I made fancy creations for dinner while my roommates survived on ramen, mac and cheese, and tomato soup with macaroni (I’m looking at you Ali and Sarelle!) 🙂

As I entered into my new life with my husband Matt, I was faced with a challenge. Matt is 6’9 and the dude can eat. A lot. He was also used to eating on budget of $20 a week. Seriously I don’t even know how that is humanly possible with how expensive groceries are, but he managed to do it. We faced a huge food budget challenge when we first moved in together. With my love of creating lots of new and exciting recipes and his frugality, we had to figure out a way to meet in the middle. After a year of living together, I think we have gotten into a nice groove when it comes to cooking. We use coupons whenever we can, check out what is on sale at the store that week and stock up on things we use frequently, and we figure out a way to always use leftover ingredients. Not only have we saved money, but I’ve been able to appease my hubby who hates wasting food. We also have a great routine where I do the cooking and he does the dishes! (Seriously, how lucky am I!) To give him credit, he does all the grilling which I truly appreciate. To me, cooking is a labor of love. I love feeding my husband, family, and friends and watching them get excited over something I made. It is the best feeling and why I love cooking for my friends!

My purpose of starting this blog is to share stories, recipes, and things happening in our lives with whomever might be interested! I have a lot of friends who look to me for culinary guidance (humble brag?) and I wanted to be able to share simple, healthy, delicious recipes that anyone from the beginner cook to the experienced foodie (Hi Aunt Liz!) can recreate in their own kitchen. Because I was blessed to get married this year, I have accumulated a lot more kitchen gadgets and tools than some might have at this stage in their lives. I will try my best to provide swaps and alternatives to a recipe wherever I can.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me! (I sound like a contestant on the Bachelor.)

Megan