I am a big believer in eating foods that are in season. Summer is all about fresh from the garden vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and berries galore. During the winter I search for warm stews, soups, and roasts with root vegetables and leafy greens. One of my go to winter soups is a little different take on the classic Chicken Noodle Soup. Instead of egg noodles, I use tortellini and I also add some sweet potato. It acts as a thickener and gives it a sweetness that my four year old son absolutely craves.
There is one catch. I recommend using homemade chicken stock. I know you hear that all the time, but please don’t be discouraged and skip this! Try it just once and you will be making your own chicken stock from now on.
To make it simple I usually get a rotisserie chicken and pick it clean. Save the chicken for the soup or whatever else you choose. You can also roast your own chicken – I just find that an already cooked chicken seems to add more flavor and you get more bang for your buck.
Get a big stock pot – the biggest you have and add the following: the chicken bones and skin, 6 carrots, 4 celery stalks, 3 onions, a bunch of thyme, parsley, and dill, a bulb of garlic cut in half, salt and pepper. Fill the pot with water and simmer for at least four hours. There you have it – homemade chicken stock. This is one that I have adapted from Ina Garten.
Now you have my two secret ingredients for the the best chicken noodle soup that even your pickiest eaters will eat on these cold winter nights. Enjoy!
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 medium yellow onions chopped
- 6 carrots quartered large diced
- 6 celery stalks large diced
- 2 large sweet potatoes large diced
- Meat from one whole chicken or 3 split chicken breasts
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Cook onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add the carrots and celery and cook for about 10 minutes or until just tender. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes. Salt and pepper as you go, but not too much as there is seasoning in the chicken stock.
- Add chicken stock and chicken and cook for about 20 more minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft. They should start to melt into the stock. Finish with the parsley.
- In the meantime, cook the tortellini separately according to the package's directions.
- To serve, spoon several tortellini in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the hot chicken soup over the pasta. Finish with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delicious!