Somedays I find myself with a little extra time on my hands. As was the case yesterday. After an excellent spin class I headed to Whole Foods with the initial intention of finding something to make for dinner, but then got inspired to update my homemade chicken noodle soup. I make a version of this into chicken pot pie for my city clients fairly regularly, and occasionally soup for them, but rarely make it for us. (They love my chicken pot pie!) I usually only make chicken soup at home when my husband is feeling under the weather. That has been the case for a few weeks. It’s a naggy spring cold that everyone seems to have these day. (Thankfully not me!)
There is no mystery here, only one “different” ingredient added, that being ramps. Why not? We’re in ramp season and in a flash they will be gone until next year.
When I posted some pictures yesterday on my Facebook page, several friends were astounded that I used a whole chicken. You could of course get a rotisserie chicken, remove the meat, and just use the bones to make the stock. But this is “from scratch” so we’re going all the way with this recipe.
Upfront I will say that this is a two hour project. Don’t dismay! Most of it is non-active time while chicken is making it’s own stock. You can set the timer and walk away to do a few things around the house.
Once your chicken is done
and cooled, you shred it off the bone.
Strain the broth and clean out your pot.
This is a fancy little gadget 80% of you probably have in your utensil drawer, and have no idea what is does. It’s called a channel knife. Basically you run it down the edge of the carrot, or cucumber, then slice. It make pretty flowers.
Saute your ramps a little and then add the stock, noodles and chicken. The last part comes together in less than 15 minutes!
Garnish with dill and enjoy.
All in all the ingredients came in at $25, using a few things I already had in my pantry. The most expensive ingredient being the organic chicken. Don’t skimp on that – get a something good, and not laden with GMOs. The cost per serving comes down to less than $3.00. You can’t buy it for that, and you know the can is filled with sodium. Give this one a try. You won’t be sorry!
Homemade Chicken Soup with Ramps
Makes about 2 1/2 Quarts
For the stock
I – 3.5-4 lb. chicken, giblets removed
2 celery stalks, cut in 4 pieces, about 4 oz.
2 big carrots, cut in 4 pieces, about 8 oz.
1 medium onion, quartered, about 8 oz.
4 fat garlic cloves
12 white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch of dill
Ground black pepper
For the soup
6 ramps, cleaned well and only root tips removed
1 big carrot
1 celery stalk
Avocado or canola oil
1 1/2 cups of wide egg noodles
1. Place the first 7 ingredients in a large pot. Add 3-4 stems of dill. Reserve the rest of the dill for the soup. Fill the pot with 3 quarts of cool water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a steady simmer and set your timer for 30 minutes. Skim off any protein that comes to the surface.
2. After 30 minutes turn off the heat and let the pot sit for 15 minutes. Then remove the chicken and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Using a chef knife carefully slice though the breast pulling it open. Allow it to cool another 15 minutes.
3. While the chicken is cooling work on your soup ingredients. Remove the white and pink part of the ramps, up to the edge of the leaves. Mince finely. You should have about 2 tablespoons. Roll the leaves like a fat cigar and slice them thinly. Divide the leaf pile in half and set aside.
4. Slice the celery and carrot in 1/8″ slices. If you want to be fancy with the carrot use a channel tool to make the carrot slices look like flowers. If channeling the carrot mince the strips and use them as well. Set aside.
5. Using a cheesecloth lined sieve strain the stock and discard the vegetables. Clean the pot. You should have about 9 cups of stock. Have a taste. You will need to add salt and pepper. Start with 1 teaspoon of each and have another taste.
6. Go back to the chicken and working with glove covered hands carefully remove the meat from the bones. The chicken will still be hot, but this is the only way to do this step. You must use your hands! That way you can feel for all the bones. Set the meat aside and discard the bones.
7. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into the pot. Sauté the ramp bulbs and half of the leaves for about 2 minutes. Seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the carrot, celery and egg noodles. Set your timer for the egg noodles. When they are half way cooked add the shredded chicken into the pot along with the rest of the ramp leaves and about 1/4 cup of loosely packed dill fronds. Taste the broth again and add more salt and pepper to taste.
8. Ladle in bowls and top with a little fresh dill frond as garnish.