Recipe Road Test: Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup from "The Prairie Homestead Cookbook"

Seira Wilson on May 07, 2019

CreamyChickenNoodle_PHCkbk_225W.jpgChicken noodle soup is not just for the cold weather months--it's year-round comfort food that pretty much everyone likes. I'd flagged this recipe in The Prairie Homestead Cookbook as one to try, and opened it up on a night when I had a rotisserie chicken and no new ideas.  All the other ingredients were items I had on hand--I used smoked paprika and fresh rosemary (because that's what I had) but otherwise adhered to the recipe as written. I like that Winger isn't a stickler for egg noodles--again, making use of what's in the pantry makes a home cook's life that much easier.  I'd always made a clear broth version of chicken noodle soup, but I found the creaminess of this recipe took it to a new level.

CreamyChickenNoodle_Mine_225W.jpgThis is now on my "everyone's happy" dinner rotation and makes for an excellent lunch the next day (photo of my result at left).  

The Prairie Homestead Cookbook is about returning to our roots, not sweating perfection, and making good food that feeds the soul.  Readers can take on the homesteader lifestyle to the degree that fits and if you just want to use the recipes, Winger is good with that, too--it's all about balance.  Below is her recipe for Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, excerpted from what is now a favorite on the shelf, The Prairie Homestead Cookbook. 

*The Prairie Homestead Cookbook was an editors' pick for the best cookbooks of April

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4 to 6

I feel like the commercial food industry owes chicken noodle soup an apology for calling the watery, tasteless stuff they put in cans “chicken soup.” Nourishing broth packed with vegetables and real chicken is true soul food. I’ve made chicken soup with clear broth for years, but the addition of the roux takes this recipe to a whole new creamy level.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock (page 236)
16 ounces dry egg noodles or pasta
1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
4 cups cubed cooked chicken

In a stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes.

Add the flour, along with all the seasonings, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the stock and pasta and bring to a boil. Simmer until the pasta is al dente (tender but firm). Stir in the milk and chicken and cook until heated through. Serve immediately.

kitchen notesThis is my favorite meal to prepare the day after we eat the roast chicken on page 54. Before throwing all the bones and drippings into the stockpot, I pull any leftover meat from the bones and set it aside. The stock simmers all night, and then I use some of it, along with the reserved chicken, to make this soup.

If you’d rather use uncooked chicken instead of leftovers, substitute 4 cups raw, cubed chicken breast. Add the meat when you pour in the broth and cook, covered, for 15 minutes before adding the pasta.

If you’re cooking for someone who is gluten- or dairy-free, the flour and milk or cream can be omitted from this soup and it will still be delicious.

**Excerpted THE PRAIRIE HOMESTEAD: Simple Recipes for Heritage Cooking in Any Kitchen by Jill Winger. Copyright © 2019 by Jill Winger. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Lindsay Linton.

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