Patsy’s Chicken Soup

My sister makes a wonderful chicken soup that you should include on your menu during cold weather.  It is a perfect example of how to make a soup.  When she sent me the recipe, she noted the following:  “I really just make it to taste so I have no idea of how much of anything I really use.  Same way with the noodles.  I just make more or less depending on how many people are eating.”  As with all soups, the recipe is an outline.  You must fill in the details to create the exact balance of flavors you prefer.

INGREDIENTS FOR SOUP:

3-4 quarts water
1 chicken (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs.)
1 medium onion
2 or 3 sticks of celery
2 or 3 carrots
1/2 tsp. salt
8 or 10 whole peppercorns
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. sage
1 or 2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. Pleasoning (or seasoned salt and herbs)

INGREDIENTS FOR NOODLES:

1 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
Water

PROCEDURE:

Put 3 to 4 quarts of water into an 8 to 12 quart pot and put over high heat.  If you buy a whole chicken, rinse and cut it into pieces, and put them in the pot.  Otherwise, simply rinse the pieces and drop them into the heating water.  Peel and dice the onion into small pieces.  Wash the celery sticks and chop them, tops and all.  Wash and chop the carrots into thin slices or small cubes, depending on your preference.  Add the vegetables to the pot.  Add 1/2 tsp. salt and 8 or 10 whole peppercorns.  Chop the parsley fine and add it along with the other herbs.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about an hour.  The chicken should be done, but not falling apart.  While the soup is simmering, make the noodles.

Stir the salt into the flour in a mixing bowl, add the egg and just enough water to make a stiff dough.  Mix well.  Divide the dough in half and roll out to 1/8 inch thick on a well-floured board.  Slice the dough into narrow strips about 1/2 inch wide.  Hang the sliced noodles over the edge of the bowl while you roll out and slice the second half of the dough.  Hang these noodles as well, or you may wish to let all the noodles dry on a dishtowel.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the broth and put it on an ovenproof platter in a warm oven.  Bring the broth to a boil and drop the noodles one by one into the broth.  Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Test the noodles just as you would any pasta. If you like, you can remove the skin from the chicken.  Sprinkle the chicken with a dash of seasoned salt and paprika before serving.  Delicious with fresh bread!

NOTES:  Pleasoning Gourmet Seasonings are made in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  If you can not find them at your local market, they are available on line.  And though the flavor will not be quite the same, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt with dashes of oregano and basil for the Pleasoning.