Chicken Noodle Soup

We have just said goodbye to Grandma, two teenage nephews (actually one of them just turned 20) and the brother-in-law. A full on weekend filled with activities and, of course, food. Tim, my brother-in-law flew in with his sons to attend the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley. They are Reading fans and apparently the last time this happened as 1926! Anyway, Young men have huge appetites. On Friday night we ate two big organic roast chickens with salad. I used the leftover carcasses to make a stock. Added some leftover chicken meat and a few more bits and we had a rather delicious and huge chicken noodle soup for after the game. Gobbled up before a very long and competitive game of scrabble on the vintage board which is as old as me! This soup is very easy and very very moorish. I like it the most because it uses everything up. I hate waste.

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For the stock you will need:

1 x chicken Carcass with wings etc attached if still there and all the skin and jelly bits

1 x large carrot thinly sliced

1 x stick of celery, roughly chopped

1 x onion, thinly sliced

1 x clove of garlic, crushed.

2 x bay leaves.

A sprinkle of dried herbs. Any. I like using thyme.

Enough cold water to cover the carcass and a big pasta cooking pot or saucepan with lid.

Stock is very simple. Pop the carcass in first and then throw everything else on top. Add the water and bring to the boil.

The main trick with stock is to cook REALLY slowly and gently. That keeps the stock from getting too cloudy. You can use a spatula to scoop any scummy, bubbly bits off the surface as it cooks. This is mostly fat. About an hour should do it. The carcass will be falling apart and the carrots soft when its ready.

Once complete, scoop out the carcass and set aside. Also scoop out the bay leaves and celery and throw them away. You should leave the onion and carrot there. Place lid on and leave aside until you are ready to make the soup.

For the Soup you will need:

Chicken meat, leftover. Use everything from the legs, wings and underside as well as the breast. the grey stuff is actually the most tasty! roughly chopped, not too small.

Medium dried egg noodles. allow 1 x nest per person. Unless you are noodle mad, In which case allow a whole nest per person. But that is a lot of noodle!

A handful of frozen sweetcorn.

A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the meat and sweetcorn to the stock mixture and bring gently to the boil. Boil for maybe ten minutes to heat the chicken through. Gently.

When you are happy that the chicken is cooked through, turn the heat right down and gently pop in the noodle nests. Cook for 4 mins (or according to the packet) with the lid on.

Remove the soup from the heat and take off the lid. Gently stir the noodles with a fork as they have stuck together a little.

Season to taste and then sprinkle on the parsley.

Serve in bowls with fresh crusty bread.

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