- Bones of 1 Whole Chicken
- 2 Cups Leftover Cooked Chicken (optional as you are going to strip the rest of the bones)
- 1 Leek
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 100g Mixed Pulses Soaked Overnight (Lentils, Pearl Barley, Split Peas etc)
- 100g Dried Noodles
- 1 Packet Knorr Dried Chicken Noodle/ Golden Vegetable Soup Mix or 2 TBSP Cornflour to thicken (Optional)
- 2 Pints Boiling Water
- 1 TSP Pepper
- 1/2 TSP Salt (Optional)
- 2 Rashers Unsmoked Bacon (Optional)
Preparation Time – For Bone Broth – 15 Mins. For Soup after Broth is done – 15 Mins (This does not include the time soaking the pulses. These need to be soaked for 8-12 hours or overnight)
Cooking Time – For Bone Broth 4 Hours (The longer the better though). For soup after Broth is done – 2 Hours
Let me just start of by saying if you are looking for a quick and easy chicken noodle soup recipe, this is not it. This soup recipe is probably one of the longest recipes on my page that does not use a slow cooker but this is because we are making the broth from scratch which takes a lot of time but is definitely worth it in the end.
This is a great recipe for using up leftovers, it’s filling, delicious and great for the cold, Winter weather. This was a recipe passed down to me from my mum (I just love family recipes) and I used to love coming home to a big bowl of this soup when I was younger, although she would often make it with a gammon joint rather than chicken and bones which is also amazing so if you want to use gammon instead, just swap it out for the chicken bones and boil the gammon to make the stock and when it comes to stripping the rest of your chicken, just chop up the gammon (this is also why my recipe has bacon in the stock recipe, because the gammon gives a great added saltiness to the broth that chicken does not have, so if you are using gammon you can leave out the bacon).
I usually make this soup the day after making my beer can chicken as the spices that were rubbed into the chicken will infuse into your broth when it’s cooking so you get more amazing flavours, but regular chicken bones work just as well and you could always add a dried stock cube to your water to add a little more flavour.
I love pot meals for a number of reasons: they are great when it is cold outside, you don’t have to constantly stand over them, and they are extremely cost effective. You can get several portions out of them which is great if you have a big family, or you can freeze any extra portions for quick meals another day and you don’t need tons of ingredients to make a delicious dinner.
You are going to need a fairly big pot to make the stock as you need to fit in the chicken bones, vegetables and a good amount of water as you don’t want your ingredients to take up the whole pot so that you can fit hardly any water into it.
Start off by peeling and chopping the carrots, leek, onion, celery and garlic. Cutting these into halves or quarters is fine as they are not going to be eaten after the broth is cooked.
Add the vegetables to your stock pot along with the chicken bones, bacon, salt (if using) and pepper.
Add 2 pints of boiling water to the pot (if you can’t fit 2 pints just add as much as you can as you will be able to top it up as the water starts to evaporate whilst the soup is cooking). If you have saved your beer from the beer can chicken you can also add this to the pot now.
Bring this to the boil and stir, then turn the heat down low to simmer for around 4 hours (or as long as you can), you can keep topping up the water a little bit at a time whilst this is cooking if you think it is evaporating too much. Adding the water a little bit at a time will ensure you keep as much of the stock flavour as possible.
When you are satisfied the broth has been cooking for long enough, take a colander and a large mixing bowl or another large pot and pour the stock liquid into the bowl or pot through the colander to strain (whatever you do, do not have a memory lapse and strain this into the sink and get rid of your stock water, trust me it is not fun when this happens and surprisingly it is easily done).
Now this next part is completely optional, we are going to strip the remaining chicken from the bones, this is a little messy but you will be surprised how much meat is actually left on the bones and like I’ve said before I hate waste. It is easier to strip the chicken by first taking out as much of the carrot, onion, bacon, celery and leek as you can and throwing them away. Then you can either use a knife and fork to strip the chicken from the bones or you can wait for it to cool down for a while and do this by hand, like I said before this is completely optional as you could just add the leftover meat from the day before, but I always strip the bones as this meat also has more flavour as it has been cooking down in the stock water. If you are stripping the meat from the bones just take extra care to make sure you do not add any little bone fragments to the soup, you don’t want anybody choking. Once you are done, add the chicken back into the stock liquid. Add the pot back onto a low heat.
Next take your pulses which should still be soaking in water from the night before and drain them (I also give them another quick rinse and drain them again as the water that comes off them will be a bit cloudy so I rinse them until it is clear). You can usually buy this pulse mix in most supermarkets in the food cupboard section with rice and cous cous etc and it is usually sold in a packet called soup and broth mix or something simlar.
Add the pulses to the stock.
Bring back to the boil, then simmer on a low heat for 1-2 hours or until the pulses are cooked and have softened. Next you can add your Knorr packet or cornflour if you are using either of these (if using cornflour I would mix with a little water so it is like a paste before adding it to the stock as it will stop you getting cornflour lumps in your soup). Neither of these things are a must as neither of them really add any extra flavour (the Knorr packet adds a little but to be honest not a great deal because all of the flavour is already in the stock) It depends on how thick you want your liquid. I add a Knorr packet mostly because it gives the soup a more attractive colour and stops the broth looking a little like dishwater, cornflour will also thicken the liquid and give it a better colour.
Once you have stirred in the dry mix and there are no powder lumps get your dried noodles (instant noodles are fine).
Add these to the soup and stir until the noodles are cooked.
When the noodles are cooked, serve immediately. I don’t usually serve this soup with bread as the pulses and noodles make it very filling so I don’t feel like I really need anything extra with it.
**This keeps in the freezer for up to 1 month, however when reheating you may need to add a little more boiling water to loosen as it will be very thick**