I love making chicken soup from scratch. The cook time is lengthy, but, you don’t have to pay a lot of attention to the soup for most of the cook time.
You can use whatever kind of spices/herbs you fancy. I love Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming, it’s a great smoky, rich compliment to the veggies in the soup.
Speaking of veggies, I use carrots, onions, celery, Italian squash/zucchini, but you can use whatever is in your fridge. Good additions would also be diced bell peppers, diced fresh tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes).
You can omit the noodles/macaroni is you don’t care for them or are GF/low carb.
5 lbs of chicken parts, bone-in or a rotisserie chicken with some of the meat removed and set aside
2 cups of carrots chopped, divided
2 cups of celery chopped, divided
3 cups sweet onion diced, divided
2 cloves garlic diced, divided
1 large shallot diced, divided
1T. cooking oil, your choice. I’ve been using grapeseed oil lately
12 cups of water
salt & pepper
2 cups Italian squash/zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 14-ish ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice, or 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (optional)
other herbs/spices as desired
1 cup uncooked pasta/noodles/rice (your choice)
If starting with 5 lbs of raw chicken, place 1/2 of the carrots, onions, and celery into a large stock pot with the cooking oil.
Cook on medium until veggies are soft, and onions are clear.
Add 1/2 of the garlic and shallots, and cook until fragrant.
Add raw chicken, and cook for about 10 minutes, until chicken browns.
Turn stove down to low, add 12 coups of water, bay leaf, salt & pepper, and cover. Cook stock on low for about 4-6 hours- you can cook it for up to 12 hours in your crockpot if you wish instead). Pull out a few pieces of chicken, pull off the cooked meat and set aside (you want about 2 cups of chopped cooked meat). Put bones back into the pot. Cook for another 20-30 minutes.
Take the stock off the heat, and once cool, strain off the solids, and discard. The remaining liquid is your chicken stock. While you start with 12 cups of water, after cooking the stock down, you may end up with 6-8 cups of rich, velvety stock.
Place chicken stock on the stove in a large pot, add in chopped chicken, remaining veggies, and any herbs/spices.
Once veggies have started to soften/cook, add noodles/macaroni/rice if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.
As soon as noodles/macaroni/rice is cooked, remove soup from heat. Serve with hot bread (and butter).
*If you are starting with a rotisserie chicken, pull off 2 cups of meat, and add the carcass after the veggies are cooked and fragrant. proceed with remainder of recipe.