Hello everyone! It’s been so cold outside I haven’t even been going out for my walks in the morning. Time to get out my workout DVDs again. How do you stay fit in the winter? It’s an ongoing conundrum for me. I swear I’d be skinnier if it never snowed in this state. Oh wellllllll……
The up side is…soup making and bread baking season is here! Wheeeeeee!!! I think you know how excited I am about that. I baked a yummy loaf of batter bread on Sunday that is so delicious I can hardly stop eating it. It’s wonderful with my eggs in the morning, and my cuppa in the afternoon. Come to think of it… It would be great with soup too! Yesterday I invented a new and SUPER easy recipe for no-knead whole wheat bread that I’ll be sharing here tomorrow. So delicious and hearty, but soft enough for sandwiches and it makes perfect toast.
Today I’m cooking and photographing. I’ve got a lot of plates spinning, but I’m enjoying myself. I’m looking forward to the holidays and have been making lists, checking them twice, and doing tons of knitting and crocheting. Life is good.
Here are three recipes for Crock Pot soup stock, and my absolute favorite recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. I use to try to complicate chicken noodle soup by adding all sorts of stuff, and it turns out that when it comes to this classic dish, less really is more. You’ll notice I don’t add any vegetables to my chicken stock. There’s no need. This stock is dark and rich and flavorful. Save the veggies for when you make the soup. Trust me on this. 🙂
Crock Pot Soup Stock 3 Ways + Minimalist Chicken Noodle Soup
Basic Crock Pot Chicken Stock:
Wonderful for chicken soups, stews and any recipe that calls for chicken broth or stock
1 large rotisserie chicken or 2 small rotisserie chickens (meat removed, and placed in refrigerator)
4 quarts water
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
Place the chicken carcass/carcasses in the Crock Pot along with the skin and fat from the bird(s). Pour water over. Add all seasonings and mix them in with the water. Cover and cook on “LOW” setting for 6 hours. Allow to cool on the counter. Refrigerate until cold. Skim off most of the fat, leaving a little for flavor. Chill for up to 24 hours or freeze until ready to use.
For the Minimalist Chicken Soup:
When your basic chicken stock is done simmering in the Crock Pot, remove chicken carcasses and skin. Discard. Then add:
all the meat from the rotisserie chickens
6 large carrots, cleaned and sliced thin and sautéed in a little butter or oil until tender
2 large onions, coarse chopped and sautéed in a little butter or oil until tender
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups egg noodles
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Turn crock pot on high and cook until noodles are done.
“Scrappy” Crock Pot Vegetarian Stock:
Wonderful as a base for vegetarian soups, stews and sauces
3 -5 cups veggie scraps (like onions, green pepper tops, tomato tops, sweet potato peelings, the ends of carrots and celery, a handful of fresh herbs, and a handful of mushrooms if you like.)
rind from a block of Asiago cheese
2 to 3 cups apple cores & peels
Place all of this in Crock Pot. Add 4 cups of water, 3 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 Tablespoon garlic powder, and 2 teaspoons chipotle powder. Cover it and let it cook on the “LOW” setting for 6 to 8 hours. Cool on the counter. Chill for up to 24 hours or freeze until ready to use. Because veggies and fruits have no fat on their own, I add the olive oil for flavor. There is no need to skim the fat from vegetarian stock.
Tip~ To make vegetarian stocks richer and more flavorful I have a little trick up my sleeve. When your stock is done, refrigerate or freeze as you usually would with stock. When you are ready to turn that stock into soup, and before you add your other ingredients, heat it and whisk in a few tablespoons of ONE of the following: nut butter (such as: peanut, cashew or almond) seed butter (such as: sunflower seed “sun butter”, sesame seed “tahini”) or your favorite miso paste.
Basic Crock Pot Beef, Lamb or Pork Stock
Wonderful as a base for beef soups, stews and any recipe that calls for a hearty, dark broth or stock
3 lb. meaty beef, lamb or pork bones
3 carrots, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery with leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
6 black peppercorns
2 quarts water
Place bones in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Bake in a 325 degree F. oven for an hour, or until browned. Transfer browned bones to Crock Pot. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook on “LOW” setting for 12 hours or until veggies are tender. Strain stock through a fine sieve, discard herbs, vegetables, bones and meat. Cool on the counter. Refrigerate stock until cold. Remove most of the fat, leaving a little, for flavor. Chill for up to 24 hours or freeze until ready to use.
Enjoy, and happy soup making, Lovelies!