Coaldale Baba's Heavenly Chicken Noodle Soup

Coaldale Baba's Heavenly Chicken Noodle Soup
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)

Welcome to day three of my third-generation chicken soup post. When I was growing up, I don't ever remember eating canned soup (except for Campbell's tomato soup which to this day I love), but, I do remember eating a lot of wonderful soups. My Coaldale Baba (my maternal grandmother who lived in Coaldale, PA) made a heavenly chicken soup and served it with homemade noodles. I remember eating this meal at her kitchen table on Sunday's after church more times than I can count. Whenever she made it, or any other kind of soup for that matter, she made lots of it, and it was comforting to know there was always some to be found in her refrigerator or freezer!

The delicate flavor of her chicken stock, combined with the texture of her egg noodles, along with the proportions of the vegetables she added turned an ordinary list of ingredients into a superb meal. Once or twice a year, I indulge myself. I take a day-trip back in time, to a kinder, gentler place. Baba's kitchen: The big, long table is set with flowered bowls and jelly-jar glasses. Us grandkids are playing in "the fort" in her back yard. She's in the kitchen, with her collie (named Cricket) by her side, rolling the noodles for her soup, which is slowly simmering on the back of her white coal stove!

Two days ago I posted my recipe for ~ It's National Chicken Stock Day: In Mel's Kitchen ~. You can find it by clicking into Categories 15 or 22. To make this soup taste the way my grandmother, my mother and I do, your going to need 3 quarts of "it". You're also going to need 2-3 cups chopped chicken from "it".

Yesterday I posted my mother's recipe for ~ How to Make Egg Noodles from Scratch for Soup ~. You can find this recipe in Categories 2, 12 or 15.

These are quite easy to make. To give this soup the same texture and consistency my grandmother, my mother and I do, you're going to need 6 cups of "these"!

Once you've prepared the stock, prepped the chicken and made the noodles, you'll need some vegetables. Besides the following list of ingredients, I occasionally make this soup adding 2 cups fresh broccoli florets and 1, 14 1/2-ounce can of diced tomatoes too. That being said, my Baba's original, combination (carrots, celery, onion and potatoes) is indeed the "golden" one!

2-2 1/2 cups peeled and diced carrots

2-2 1/2 cups diced or sliced celery

1-1 1/2 cups diced yellow or sweet onion

3-3 1/2 cups peeled and diced gold potatoes

freshly ground peppercorn blend

~ Step 1. Place stock in an 8-quart stockpot. Prep and add the carrots, celery and onion as you work. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, adjust heat to a steady simmer and cook until all vegetables are cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. While vegetables are simmering, prep the potatoes as directed. Add the potatoes to the simmering stock and continue to cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 8-10 minutes.

~ Step 2. Stir in the cooked chicken. After about 1 minute, turn the heat off. Cover the pot and allow soup to steep for about 30 minutes prior to serving. This step gives the fresh taste of the vegetables time to marry with the flavorful stock.

To serve, place a generous 1/2 cup of room temperature or slightly warm noodles in the bottom of each large, warmed soup bowl. Ladle hot soup over the noodles and top with freshly ground peppercorn blend, to taste. Serve immediately:

Coaldale Baba's Heavenly Chicken Noodle Soup: Recipe yields 5 quarts soup or about 8-10 servings.

Special Equipment List: 8-quart stockpot w/lid; cutting board; chef's knife; vegetable peeler; soup ladle

Cook's Note: The above soup recipe is well worth the effort. That being said, if you're looking for super chicken soup fast, give my recipe for Joe's mother's favorite soup a try. Right down to the store-bought noodles, it's a great recipe to have on hand. You can find my recipe for ~ GrandMa Ann's Easy Chicken Vegetable Soup ~ in Categories 2, 20 or 22!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)