GRANDMA-STYLE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
1 tbsp (15 mL) oil of your choice or butter
2 large onions, unpeeled, quartered
2 medium carrots, cut into 1- to 2-inch (2.5- to 5-cm) segments 2 celery stalks, cut into 1- to 2-inch (2.5- to 5-cm) segments 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and lightly smashed
A handful of parsley stems (save the leaves for garnish) 2 tsp (10 mL) peppercorns
1 bay leaf
One 3 1/4- to 4-lb (about 1.75-kg) chicken, either whole or cut into halves so it fits better in your pot 14 cups (3.5 L) water
8 oz (226 g) dried egg noodles 5 celery stalks, in 1/2- to 1-inch (about 2.5-cm) chunks 5 medium carrots, in 1/2- to 1-inch (about 2.5-cm) chunks Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Chopped fresh parsley leaves
Make the broth:
1. Heat the oil or butter in the bottom of your largest pot (2 quarts/8 litres is ideal here) over medium heat, and add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re browned in spots and a little soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaf and chicken and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, mostly covered, for 25 minutes. Use tongs to remove the chicken, leaving the broth covered on the lowest heat.
3. As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and pick the meat from the bones, covering it and setting it aside until needed.
4. Return the bones to the stock and bring back to a simmer. Cook, mostly covered, for 1 to 2 hours; less time will make a fine pot of soup; a longer amount of time will make an even more developed flavour. Pour the soup through a fine-mesh strainer, wipe out your pot, and return the broth to it. (You should have about 3 quarts/3 litres of stock.)
Cook the noodles:
5. Bring a separate pot of wellsalted water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package directions; drain when finished.
Finish the soup:
6. Meanwhile, bring the soup broth back to a simmer and add salt and pepper to taste — at least 1 tbsp (15 mL) kosher salt and 1/2 to 1 tsp (2.5-5 mL) of pepper adds a nice warmth.
7. Add the additional celery to the broth and cook for 5 minutes; then the additional carrots, and cook everything together for 7 to 10 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender.
8. Add the reserved chicken and noodles, taste again for seasoning and adjust as needed, and heat just to warm through. Ladle into bowls and finish with fresh herbs.