chicken noodle soup

i have been sick - that really bad cold-moved-into-my-ears-i-now-have-an-ear-infection-i'm-feverish-and-when-i-move-too-much-i-get-dizzy-its-the-busiest-month-of-the-year-at-work-and-my-5th-wedding-anniversary-is-this-weekend-and-we're-going-on-vacation-plus-my-calendar-is-completely-slammed-i-dont-have-time-for-this sick. you know the kind.

to combat, on saturday i tried my first ever homemade chicken broth out of the it's all good cookbook by gwyneth paltrow [see pics below.] i loved so much about that recipe, but it takes literally hours to simmer, and when you're done you still only have chicken broth, so you have to tack on an additional half hour or so to make your homemade broth into actual soup. it's definitely a weekend project. i had used her recipe for chicken and kale soup, [also pictured below] but, frankly i just don't have in me to go through that whole charade again today, even though it is a good choice for sicklings given that kale contains a hefty dose of vitamin c. that particular yumminess is serving as the inspiration for this semi-homemade version i'm making now, a weekday "i feel like death" friendly adaptation i can make in the middle of everything else we have going on.

unfortunately this isn't magical healing soup - i still ended up at the doctor.

the main difference between this, and previous chicken noodle soups is the bouquet garni [of sorts.] a bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs tied up in cheesecloth, which you use to add flavor when simmering broths, soups, stews, etc. it's essentially like a little teabag of herbs that you toss into the pot, simmer, and then remove before serving. you get all the deliciousness of those herbs, without them floating around freely. for this recipe, we make a BIG bouquet garni - of herbs and vegetables, which we'll add to the store bought broth to elevate it and deepen the flavor.

cheesecloth is also a pretty handy thing to have around in the kitchen - the hubs routinely uses it to make cold brew coffee. 

| ingredients |

carrots, chopped
celery, diced
salt + pepper
evoo
1 rotisserie chicken, white meat roughly diced
your favorite soup noodles
2 boxes organic chicken broth
extra thyme and rosemary, to garnish/serve

for the bouquet garni: 
cheesecloth + twine
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, quartered
sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
5 cloves of garlic, smashed

| method |

make your bouquet garni: fill the cheesecloth with your leek, onion, herbs and garlic, and tie with twine to secure. 

meanwhile in a large dutch oven or soup pot, saute the carrots and celery in evoo over medium heat for approximately 4-5 minutes. season with salt and pepper when you add the vegetables to the pot. when your vegetables have been sauteed (they won't be totally soft yet - don't worry!) add the 2 boxes of chicken broth, your noodles, chicken and the bouquet garni. ensure everything in the pot is mostly covered, adding a little water if needed. 

simmer over medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes, until your noodles and vegetables are soft. season to taste, and serve immediately with pieces of fresh, crusty bread.