Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Cold

It is cold and rainy here today. I've had about 4 inches of rain in the past 48 hours here. So says my nifty new digital rain gauge that I received from Bob for Christmas. It actually says 3.99 inches, but I call that "about 4".

Anyway, the skies have dumped a whole bunch of rain on me and my little plot of earth. Everything is wet, cold and muddy outside. I just built a nice warm fire in my woodstove, so it's getting nice and warm in here. I love that lasting, penetrating heat that the woodstove provides. Both of my indoor kitties, Jessie and Frieda, are curled up by the fire as I type this. I love that.

I woke today feeling like maybe a cold was coming on. A little sinus congestion. A few more body aches than usual. I wrote it off to the cold, wet weather and tried to ignore it. Then this afternoon I got a craving for homemade chicken noodle soup. So I made some in my big pot on the stove. Good thing too, because as of about two hours ago, I can feel my ears starting to stuff up, with a pronounced ache in the right one, and a sinus headache starting. I really don't want to get sick. I hate that.

So here's a few shots of my homemade chicken soup:

Sauteeing the veggies: carrots, onion, celery, a little bok choy, a lot of garlic, some fresh from the garden parsley...

I like to have lots of veggies in my homemade chicken soup, and I usually have a nice selection of fresh ones available due to our local organic farmer. I added some chunks of cooked organic chicken breast to my soup and simmered it with the veggies and some homemade turkey stock.

While the soup simmered, I turned my attention to the noodle part of the soup.

I have always wanted to make homemade pasta and noodles, and I even have one of those cool hand crank pasta machines around here somewhere that I bought a few years ago and never used. So I decided that I would search for it another day and just roll out my simple egg noodle dough by hand with a rolling pin:

Noodle dough rolled out as flat as possible, drying before cutting into noodles

Now that I have done the rolling by hand this one time, I plan to find that pasta machine in whatever deep cabinet I've hidden it in. It was not that easy to get that noodle dough to stretch out thin enough for the soup noodles I wanted to make. It kept trying to shrink back up into a thick slab! I coaxed it to lay out pretty flat and thin, but I wasn't that happy with the results.

After letting the dough dry flat for a few minutes, I then rolled it gently and sliced it into noodle ribbons, which I then cut in half because I was making soup not pasta:

Raw noodles dusted with flour drying a bit more before being cooked

Then when the rest of my soup was ready, nicely simmered with the veggies tender, I added the freshly made noodles to the pot and made sure the heat was high enough to boil them gently for about 15-20 minutes.

Here's what the finished noodles and soup looked like in a bowl. Actually this was my second bowl of soup. I ate the first one so fast I forgot to take a picture of it for you.

Chicken Soup for my cold ~ some heart shaped noodles floating on top

So even with big fat noodles that took over the whole pot of soup because they swelled up when cooked, the homemade chicken soup was very tasty, warm and comforting. Two bowls filled me up for a late afternoon dinner on this cold and wet rainy day. I sure hope it makes my cold go away.

Now to go sit by my warm fire and relax.

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


Hardware Bob said...

Perfect food for a cold Winter day, effective medicine for a sneaky cold.

You are really something in the kitchen, and home made noodles brings back some old fond memories from my childhood. I do wonder if there will be any of that fabulous soup left over.

Now I understand why I was shooed away so quickly yesterday, so you could concentrate on making your chicken noodle soup. There's more to do making soup, and noodles, than I ever imagined. The photos and descriptions are really making me drool.

While you were enjoying your yummy looking chicken noodle soup I was eating left over pot roast for the third time. Soup for tonight's dinner or even lunch today sounds good...hint.♥

CaliforniaGrammy said...

I hope you're feeling well enough for Bob to enjoy your soup today. Dang it, I hate colds too . . . knock on wood I haven't had one in over a year! As I read your post I remember fondly my dad making homemade noodles and he would roll the the dough up and then slice it about 3/8" thick. Then I would help him unroll the long noodles and we'd let those dry out before putting them into soup. I loved'em and now that I have more time to do those sorts of things in the kitchen I think I'm gonna have to do just that in honor of my daddy. Thanks for the post and the nudge to make homemade noodles.

P.S. Sure hope you've nipped your cold in the bud!

Barbee' said...

Mmmmmmm! I can just smell it. I read a report of some research on chicken soup and colds. The verdict was: It really does help, however, the version with vegetables helped more than just plain chicken soup. You should be better any minute now!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

At the first sign of a cold I use Zicam. It's homepathic and really works fast!

Your noodles remind me of dumplings and I love homemade dumplings. You must have been feeling better to eat two bowlfuls of that beautiful, healthy soup, too. :)

I hope you're feeling even better tomorrow :)

Stay warm and healthy, my friend.


frugalmom said...

Mmmmmmm...homemade noodles....I love those. They are really tasty when added to soup.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for the good wishes for my cold to go away soon. It is still here, but I refuse to let it get me too down. Bog on!

Hi Bob,
I think it's really neat that you think I am so skilled in the kitchen. Thank you for the praise.

I didn't shoo you away very fast. I made you a nice rich cup of hot chocolate, remember?

You and Jack helped me polish off the rest of the chicken soup yesterday. Now I need to make more. My cold is still hanging around.

Hi CA Grammy,
It warms my heart that my noodle experiment brought back memories of your Dad and you making noodles together. How cool is that. Let us know how your noodle making turns out.

Hi Barbee,
That's great about the veggies being so good for us. I like lots of veggies in my soups.

Hi Lisa,
I use Zicam too. Lots of it this winter. It does help quite a bit.

Yes, my noodles sort of reminded me of dumplings too. Next time, hopefully, they will be smaller and thinner.

Hi Marcee,
Yes, even though these noodles were huge and took over the whole pot of soup, they were very tasty, especially the second day after soaking up a lot of the broth.

Farmer Jen said...

Umm... that first part of my comment should have been "Blog on!"

Barbee' said...

I just thought you were typing the way you probably are talking: wid' a coldd' n da nose.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Barbee,
Kind of, but not on purpose.