I was sitting in a restaurant the other day, waiting for my order to arrive, when I caught a glimpse (and whiff) of what my next table neighbors were having: a gigantic bowl of piping hot Chicken Noodle soup.
For some reason, it really hit me. It made me realize that it had been forever and a half since I’d last eaten that.
And suddenly, I felt extremely melancholy.
In that very moment, I realized just how much I truly missed that body warming, soul healing dish that used to be a fundamental part of my regular meal rotation, especially during the colder, shorter days of winter.
And let me tell you, here in Quebec, we get more than our fare share of those!
But even if you don’t get super harsh winters, crazy sub-zero temperatures and truckloads of snow falling from the sky where you are, I’m sure you can’t think of anything more comforting than a generous, smoking hot bowl of home made Chicken Noodle soup.
At least I know I can’t.
I started brain storming with my inner being and got to thinking: if I had been successful at making Pasta alla Bolognese that looked JUST like the real thing using rutabaga in lieu of spaghetti, surely I should be able to use that same vegetable to create some kind of noodle that would work for that soup and give my brains the satisfaction they’d been after.
Excited as could be, I took my precious mandolin out of the cupboard and placed the “width blades” on the wide julienne, or French Fries, setting. However, instead of setting the “thickness blade” to a thickness that would match the width of the sticks, I set it to approximately one eighth of an inch.
This transformed my rutabaga into thin, wide strips that very much resembled egg noodles, or pieces of broken fettuccine.
After cooking for a few minutes, they looked even more like the real thing! Magical!
And while they did not taste *exactly* like the real thing, or have the exact same texture that I’d been after, it did give my brains all the right signals and comforting that they’d been longing for.
We were in a very happy, blissful place.
One word of warning, though…
As you can see, I chose to use maroon carrots in my soup. While they look really cool when the soup is fresh out of the pot, they might not be the optimal choice if you’re going to let your soup sit in the fridge for a couple of days, especially not if you plan on serving it to guests. Indeed, the carrots’ beautiful and intriguing maroon color will leach into the soup and impart a rather unappetizing dark gray color to your chicken.
Doesn’t affect the taste, though. Trust me, I didn’t mind the weird color at all when I ate the leftovers at work. However, it’s probably a good thing that I was eating all by my lonesome, else I’m sure I’d have gotten a lot of silly questions and comments.
Just sayin’, you know. You might want to play it safe and stick with carrots of the orange variety…
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- 2 cooked chicken breasts (I cooked mine right in the stock while making it)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 celery rib, sliced
- ½ medium rutabaga, cut into “noodles”
- 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Cut the rutabaga into “noodles” by using the wide julienne (or French fry) setting of your mandolin but set the blade thickness to about ⅛” of an inch. This will give you fettuccine-like strips of rutabaga.
- Melt a little bit of cooking fat in a large stock pot set over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add garlic, carrot and celery and stir well.
- Pour in chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are almost cooked to your liking.
- Throw in rutabaga noodles and chicken and continue cooking until “noodles” are tender.
- Stir in chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Since I was making a batch of fresh stock, I left a couple of breasts on the bones so they’d get to slowly simmer right in the stock.
Talk about juicy and tasty!
I’m feeling all the love and comfort just by looking at this picture.
And now, I’m ready for the snow!