Tutorial Tuesday! Chicken Noodle Soup (like you’ve never had it)

Tis Tuesday, my friends, and you know what this means?! I head out into the pastures, shear a flock of sheep, and make myself a new fleece coat.

No . . . that’s not right — I do that on Thursday!

I kid, I kid.

You all are in for a HUGE treat today. I thought we would shake things up a bit and do some cooking! And since a prowess in couture cuisine simply does not abound in this writer’s facility, I’ve enlisted the help of my husband — who, among his many hats, happens to own a toque, too — to whip us up a delicious meal. Winter is upon us; I know I openly subject myself to derision and mockery when I say that I have been very cold these past couple of days, temperatures dropping into the *gulp* 40’s. I know, I know — many of you incur snow, sleet, and throughout the day are forced to check less lardaceous appendages to ensure they’re still attached. But I’m a California girl, and 40 is frickin’ cold in my books!

Nothing says warmth and comfort like a steaming bowl of hearty chicken noodle soup, wouldn’t you agree? There’s just something about it that melts you from the inside, taking the cold and expelling it bit by bit. The sumptuous savory goodness leaves you relaxed and at peace, as if you’ve been hugged from the inside.

In the mood for some soup yet? I hope so!

Oh, and per the title:

This ain’t your cup of Campbell’s Soup.

Wash your hands, grab yourself some cutting boards, knives, a very large pot, and let’s get cookin’!

*** Note: Michael and I make our entire week’s worth of food on Sunday, neither of us much for contending with a dinner menu after a long day of work and an evening workout. We learned long ago that having something healthy already prepared in advance helps us make the right choices in terms of food. You never want to shop at the grocery store or cook when you’re starved — you’ll end up eating twinkies and 4 bowls cereal for dinner. Mmm . . . cereal. No, bad Cara! You can follow our recipe exactly and expect to make about 12-16 servings, or you can modify the amounts to fit your preference; however, let me remind you once more that I am writer and crafter, not a mathematician, so you’re on your own with those configurations. And just to illustrate my point, I’ve included a picture of me attempting to solve a rudimentary mathematical equation:

Shall we?

Step 1) 

In a large pot, prepare the broth.


1 whole chicken — 2 legs, 2 breasts, 2 thighs broken apart — fat and skin removed

14 cups water

1qt vegetable broth

4-5 bay leaves

3 rosemary sprigs

Small handful of celery leaves

1/2 of ground flower pepper

1 tbs sea salt


Celery leaves should look something like this.

Flower pepper — purchased at Trader Joe’s

Step 2)

Bring to boil and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Step 3) 

Slice two Pasilla peppers in half and roast on an open flame until lightly charred. Set aside to cool.

They should appear something like this:

Step 4)

Chop large sweet onion, four celery stalks, about 1/8 cup minced garlic. Sauté on medium high heat until tender.

Tip: How to cut an onion efficiently and expertly:

Ta da! Now that’s gettin’ your money’s worth!

Step 5)

In a separate pan, along with the celery, onions, and garlic, add: 1 lemon sliced with peels (seeds removed), 1 tablespoon oregano, I teaspoon thyme, I teaspoon smoked paprika, and sauté for another minute or two to enhance the spices. Set aside.

Step 6)

At this point you should get your pasta going. Best to cook it beyond al dente. The choice of noodles is up to you! There’s tons to choose from. We used these little cutie shells:

Step 7)

Remove chicken from soup carefully, and let cool slightly. Turn soup heat to low. Remove rosemary sprigs and bay leaves. Strip chicken from bone, careful not to leave any bones left. Let it cool and use fingers to shred — you can use a fork if you’re inpatient.

Step 8) 

Add chicken and veggie mixture back to broth, and continue heating on low.

Step 9)

Chop 3-4 Roma tomatoes, roasted Pasilla peppers, and about 1/2 cup of fresh spinach.

Step 10)

Add drained pasta noodles/shells, and allow soup to continue to cook for about 10-15 on low before serving. If necessary, add a bit of salt, tasting between stirs to adjust to personal preference.

Step 11)

Graciously offer your friends and family a small sample, then, when they ask for more, sell a bowl to them for a ridiculously inflated sum of money.

Now you know I’m just kidding! The only thing better than sitting down to enjoy a delicious meal is sharing it with another, one equally fond of scumptious eats. Mm, how good does this look?

And a round of applause for our guest chef, Michael Olsen. Thank you, Michael!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Until next time . . .

47 thoughts on “Tutorial Tuesday! Chicken Noodle Soup (like you’ve never had it)

  1. Looks fantastic – can almost smell it. I like to prepare dinner ahead too when I can. And I have a pot of sausage and vegetable soup almost done for tonight. I will have to try your receipe sometime.

  2. Yum!!!! That soup looks delicious! Such a good idea to cook for the week on Sundays. I try to do that, but we don’t always make it through the week with a 14 year old boy with a hollow leg in the house. 🙂

    • It kept very well, yes! We stored it in the pot we cooked it in, put the back on, and continued to reheat throughout the week. Makes life incredibly simple when a bowl and microwave are the extent of the dinner’s prep! 🙂

    • Really? You have an affinity for photos? I never would have guessed 😉 I am the same as you; there is something about having an assisting picture to help guide you through a project or task, or just to give you inspiration when you’re drawing a blank.

      The bowl’s ready; come on ovah!

  3. This looks amazing… and is making me hungry! I can’t wait to try it, thank you for sharing. These tutorials are really helping to make me quite the Susie Homemaker these days 🙂

    • Next time we make a batch, Amanda, I’ll be sure to have you over for a bowl. LOL — Yay! I wouldn’t consider myself a highly domesticated woman, — not proficient at cooking, sewing, and the like — but I am so glad to have stirred about a sense of inspiration. At the very worst, you try something new, decide you don’t like it and move on!

  4. “Graciously offer your friends and family a small sample, then, when they ask for more, sell a bowl to them for a ridiculously inflated sum of money.” Bahaha! Made me laugh LOUDLY – which almost got me into trouble since I was reading it while at the office 😉 The soup looks absolutely delicious and perfectly fitting for the chilly weather we’ve been having lately. Again, I LOVE these Tuesday Tutorials, Cara, and look forward to the update e-mail every week. Your guest chef is certainly talented and I vote more cooking/recipe posts in the near-future, please! xoxo Kristin

    • LOL! Yay — I love making you laugh! I do apologize if I got you into trouble with any supervisors, head-honchos, big-wigs, or the like 🙂

      I am thrilled you are enjoying the tutorials. They take quite a bit of work, preparing the actual project and taking pictures along the way. And just slopping some banal text up doesn’t seem fitting after that hard work, so I always attempt to infuse a bit of humor and intrigue in the actual post, too. Thank you for your encouragement and taking a moment to tell me that you’re enjoying them! I will pass on your accolades to the chef, of course, and I don’t think he will mind one bit playing host to another cooking tutorial. More to come, for-sure!
      Lots o’ love,

  5. I SO could have used this recipe last week. It looks amazing. I love soup, all kinds, and I never make just a little. But wait….what do you mean twinkies and cereal is not dinner?! Then I probably shouldn’t say what I had for dinner last night…..

    • If only I had known! I would have shipped a bowl first-class to you 🙂

      Ha! Well . . . if we’re choosing a lesser of two evils, I hope it was the cereal. And if it was, I hope you enjoyed every single bite! I’m moderately obsessed with Cinnamon Toast Crunch — I’ve been known, on occasion, to steal away to a dark place and devour a box all to myself.

      • You’ll be happy to know, Cara, that tonight my room mate and I made lentil soup…well, I mostly cooked and he mostly watched TV. It turned out great though! And as for last night….dinner was actually ice cream. Terrible, I know….but I made up for it tonight.

        Oh…and my favorite cereal is Froot Loops. DO NOT tell anyone!!

    • Melissa! So glad you stopped by. This was a family favorite for-sure. And beyond the surplus of carbs in the shells (which were whole grain, I assure you), quite healthy. Enjoy!

  6. Nice! I’ve never tried lentil soup. Is it any good? If you have a good recipe, pass it on my way. Sounds like your roommate got the better end of that deal; hopefully he appreciated it!

    Ice cream! *gasp* You didn’t?! You know . . . sometimes it’s an ice-cream kind of night. I once devoured a pan of brownies and guacamole for dinner. I still look back on that memory with fondness and joyfully moist eyes.

    Oooo. Fruit loops is a good one! Definitely up there with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Mums the word, I promise. No one — besides the 100 or so people following the blog — will ever know! 🙂

    • LOL….I knew my secret was safe with you! The soup turned out great. I’d never made one before so I googled it, then we combined the ingredients from several recipes. I didn’t mind doing most of the cooking as, it’s something I enjoy.

      • Ha! Always . . .

        I love Google. It’s the the twice-removed Grandmother you hardly ever speak to, but when you’re in a pinch always manages to come through with something good!

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