Spring Chicken Noodle Soup
Note: A flavorful soup, made from scratch, is swimming with fresh vegetables and tender chunks of chicken. A splash of lemon juice at the end heightens the other flavors in the soup without overwhelming them. From Meredith Deeds.
• 1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 lb.), with skin, cut up
• 2 ribs celery, with leaves, cut into chunks
• 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
• 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved
• 1 medium parsnip
• 6 Italian parsley sprigs
• 2 bay leaves
• 20 whole peppercorns
• 2 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 small leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced crosswise into thin half-moons
• 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3 c. uncooked wide egg noodles
• 1 c. sugar snap peas, halved crosswise
• 2 c. baby spinach
• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Place the chicken, celery, chunks from 2 carrots, onions, parsnip, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and turmeric in a 7-quart Dutch oven and cover with 12 cups cold water.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from heat.
Use tongs to transfer chicken from the pot to a container. Strain broth through a fine sieve (or a cheesecloth-lined colander) into a separate container. Discard all the solids.
Let the broth sit for 10 minutes and skim any excess fat off the top.
When ready to finish the soup, use your fingers to separate chicken breast meat from bones and skin. Discard bones and skin. Use 2 forks to pull the breast meat apart into bite-sized chunks. (Reserve dark meat for another use.)
Wipe out Dutch oven with paper towel. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened.
Add broth and bring to boil. Add sliced carrots and noodles, reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until carrots are tender and noodles are just cooked. Add snap peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add spinach and chicken, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Stir in lemon juice, re-season with salt and pepper if necessary and ladle into serving bowls.