I have been waiting for the southern California weather to start cooling down this fall, so the past couple weeks have been a real treat for me. I adore making soups, stews and casseroles — cold weather comfort foods — during fall and winter. Homemade soups are a particular favorite and specialty of mine. I often cook things like a ham just in anticipation of using the bone and leftover meat in a hearty soup.
Despite enjoying so many types of soup, I have never been a big chicken and noodle fan. It just usually tastes too bland for me.
So Paula Deen’s chicken noodle soup recipe really caught my eye. In addition to the typical carrots and celery, Paula adds mushrooms, which give a little more substance to the soup and a make for a nice earthy flavor. But, for me, the pièce de résistance is in the broth…it includes sherry and heavy cream. Oh my! No boring clear chicken broth here. Pure decadence, particularly when topped with the optional Parmesan cheese.
Jeff and I did not change a thing in this recipe. We opted for a pre-cut whole fryer chicken instead of hassling with doing it ourselves, and we chose to shred the chicken when cooked and cooled. We did include Parmesan cheese. Oh, and I sampled the sherry ahead of time to make sure it was still good.
This soup freezes and reheats quite well for leftovers.
- 1 (2½ to 3-pound) fryer chicken, cut up
- 3½ quarts water
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1½ to 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups sliced celery, with leafy green tops
- 2½ cups uncooked egg noodles
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- ⅓ cup cooking sherry
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, optional
- ¾ cup heavy cream, optional
- Seasoning salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Crusty French bread, for serving
- Add all ingredients to a soup pot. Cook until chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.
- Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. You should have approximately 3 quarts of stock.
- When chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage.
- Set chicken aside.
- Bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package.
- When noodles are done, add chicken, mushrooms, parsley, sherry and rosemary.
- Add Parmesan and cream, if using. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding seasoning salt and pepper.
- Enjoy along with a nice hot crusty loaf of French bread.