Pantry/Freezer Chicken Noodle Soup

These are some unsettling times, and comfort food is one way we are all getting through this. There are few foods more comforting than chicken noodle soup. Perhaps you are considering opening a can and eating some chicken noodle soup. You could do that, or… you could make some yourself.

Make chicken noodle soup? That’s crazy, you say. Not everyone has the time, money, skills, or ability to tenderly nurture a huge pot of chicken stock for hours, cook and strip a chicken carcass of all its meat and skin, chop mounds of vegetables, and knead, roll, and cut homemade noodles.

Guess what? Not everyone needs to be able to do that. But everyone needs to eat, and being able to cook for yourself and those you love is economical, self-sufficient, and good for your soul.

Maybe you want to be that “made from scratch” home cook, but just can’t do it yet. I cook a lot of things from scratch now, but I didn’t grow up doing it. Everyone has to start somewhere. Start by making this soup.

It only takes about 15 minutes to cook this warming, satisfying soup, and it’s packed with homemade flavor.

Here’s your shopping list:

  • butter
  • all-purpose flour (Buy a small bag and store in the refrigerator, if you don’t bake.)
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen chopped onions
  • 1 15-ounce can mixed vegetables, or a bag of frozen mixed vegetables (plain, not those sauced/seasoned ones, you’ll pay more for stuff you don’t need)
  • 1 10-ounce can chunk chicken (or larger, my store’s brand was 12 ounces)
  • 1 jar bouillon powder (I used Herb Ox, it was the best buy)
  • 1 bag dried egg noodles (I used medium, but if you like wide, go for it) 

Here’s your equipment list:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • Fork or spoon to stir with, and a ladle to serve with

But, is it really homemade, you say, if the ingredients all come from cans, jars, and bags? Of course it is. You’re making it yourself, at home, from ingredients that have been canned or frozen at their peak of seasonal freshness, for future use. You are adding the amount of seasoning you prefer. You are choosing which vegetables and noodles you want. You are combining your chosen ingredients over heat until they become something you want to eat, or offer others to eat. That’s all home cooking is. It’s as simple as that.

Here’s your recipe: (It makes about 4 1-cup servings.) 

Pro Tip: ALWAYS READ A RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH TWICE BEFORE YOU COOK.

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup frozen chopped onions
1 cup canned or frozen mixed vegetables, drained
1 10-ounce can canned chunk chicken, drained and broken up a bit
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons bouillon powder
1/2 cup dried egg noodles

1. In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, 1/2 cup mixed vegetables, and 1/2 cup chicken, and cook, stirring frequently, until everything is warmed and softened a bit. (Save the rest of the vegetables and chicken for the end of the recipe.

2. Add the flour, and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. 

3. Add the water and the bouillon powder, stir everything together, and bring to a boil over high heat (big, active bubbles are a boil). Stir in the egg noodles, lower the heat to medium-low (there should be a few bubbles – this is a simmer), and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just getting tender. (How will you know? Taste one or two at the 5-minute mark. You’ll know how close you are by how much chewiness is left in the noodle. Also check the package for recommended cooking time for a clue.) 

4. Once the noodles are nearly tender, add in the rest of the vegetables and chicken you have left, stir gently so some chicken stays in tempting chunks, and warm through. 

5. Taste the soup, and if it seems bland, add a bit of salt and pepper. Careful, some of the ingredients are already salty. Don’t overdo it.

Store any ingredients you have left over in the proper place – pantry, refrigerator, or freezer – and you can make this soup AGAIN.

Here’s one more reason to make this soup: once you know how to make this soup, you can learn to make Chicken Noodle Casserole, and Chicken Pot Pie. I’ll show you how they are related, and how they are different, and how to cook them.

Make this soup.

(Cross-posted at closertohomecooking.blogspot.com)

Welcome to my kitchen.

After years of blogging about what I was cooking to feed my loved ones, I realized my blog wasn’t big enough to hold the work I wanted to do.

I wanted a place where I could share recipes for all kinds of home cooks, including people who wanted to be home cooks but weren’t sure they could do it.

I wanted a place where I could share recipes using local, seasonal ingredients, and also talk about why many people don’t have access to them.

I wanted a place where I could share my excitement about exploring my culinary heritage, and experimenting with ingredients that were new to me, and also talk about how much of our shared food history in the United States has only been possible through immigration and forced relocation.

I wanted a place where I could help feed hungry people by supporting organizations that are working to end food insecurity, and also write about and share the work of others who want to feed hungry people.

So I started this website. It’s definitely still a work in progress, but it’s good enough to share. I will be adding more: more recipes, more blog posts, more fundraisers, more ideas. Please help me spread the word, and share with anyone you think would like a place like this.

So, let’s see where this goes. Thanks for joining me in my kitchen. I want this to be a place where all home cooks feel welcome, no matter their experience. I want this to be a place where we can support each others’ home cooking adventures. Most importantly, I want this to be a place where we can work together to feed hungry people, no matter who or why or where they are. Let’s cook.