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Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup

Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Not until recently did I find out that my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup – my favorite winter dish coming in from the cold and when I was down with one – had a secret ingredient.  A secret because I never bothered to ask her while I crunched crackers over the soup, and finished bowl after bowl.

When I finally decided to make it myself, having never tasted that same depth of flavor in other chicken noodle soups, I was surprised that the secret ingredient just happened to be a spice - Nutmeg.

grated nutmeg seed for chicken noodle soup

The warm, nutty, citrusy, spicy flavor of nutmeg combined with the chicken broth forges a wonderful aroma in the house on winter days.  It did in my house growing up, and in my grandmother’s house where my mom learned the recipe.  And probably in my great grandmother’s house, and even more distant to our family cooking traditions in Europe.

Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Why nutmeg in chicken noodle soup?

The aroma and flavor are reason enough, but there may be another.

Chicken noodle soup is now widely known as the ‘cure for the common cold’, which is accurate in that the nutrients from the chicken broth, and other ingredients, contribute to strengthening your immune system to help you recover.  Historically, the ‘cure for the common cold’ came in many forms, but one notable remedy was nutmeg. Nutmeg played the role of preventing sickness – popular in the 16th century as means to ward off the plague – and in treating many illnesses.

The vast health properties now associated with nutmeg is reason enough to add a dash into your chicken noodle soup to fight off that cold.

And is a reminder of the knowledge of our ancestors, passed down to us through cooking traditions that we may not fully comprehend, but continue to this day in creating delicious meals, which thanks to them, keep us healthy too.

Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Nutmeg recipe 
by Season with Spice
Serves 6-8

What you’ll need:
1 whole chicken
3 quarts of water (12 cups)
2 stalks of celery - cubed
1 white onion - cubed
2 tsp of freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper
2 tsp salt
3 carrots – using a peeler, shred carrots into long, thin pieces
1 tsp of Season with Spice's ground nutmeg
500g of egg noodles

Process:
1. Rinse chicken and cut into parts (i.e. legs, breast, wings, etc.).  Place in large pot, along with 3 quarts of water, celery and onion, and 2 tsp each of salt and black pepper.
2. Bring to a boil, then turn fire to low and cover.  Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
3. Remove the chicken from the pot, and then add in the carrot.  While the soup continues to simmer, separate the chicken meat from the bones.  Add the meat back into the pot, along with the nutmeg.
4. While soup is simmering, boil the egg noodles in a separate pot.  Once noodles are cooked, drain the water.  Before adding the noodles into the soup, make sure the carrots are softened, and check the flavor of the broth and add in salt or black pepper if necessary.
5. Once noodles are added into the pot, simmer for another 10 minutes. Then serve hot with a side of crackers.

Notes:
- Homemade soups and stews always taste better the next day. So if you have the time, cook up the chicken noodle soup a day before, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight, and then reheat on the stove the next day.
- Egg noodles are best for chicken noodle soup. If you don’t have it (like I didn’t), you can use any basic pasta noodle. Or you can make them yourself – check out Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

23 comments:

Rosa May said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
speedmaster said...

Wow, looks great! We love homemade soup.

Tjustin said...

It may be called chicken noodle soup - but without the nutmeg it wouldn't taste like Grandma's!
Love you, Aunt Teresa

Tanvi @ The Hathi Cooks said...

This looks absolutely lovely! I love nutmeg and I get it would be divine in this soup!

seasonwithspice said...

Easy to do, just takes some time.

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks! Yeah me too, so much better than the stuff in the can

seasonwithspice said...

I'm so happy that Grandma kept all these great cooking traditions going, and I'm sure this one in particular is still cooked by all of you. I hope these recipes are being passed to the next generation too, if not yet, then they will be waiting here for everyone to find. And I'll keep making more!

Love, Mark

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Tanvi, definitely give it a try this winter

Sheila Braegelmann said...

Is there a really good reason to boil those noodles seperately and add them to the soup versus just tossing them in the boiling soup, I am never one to get another pan dirty if I don't have to, confession, I just toss them in.
Love, Aunt Sheila

Tjustin said...

I throw mine in with the pot of soup also. I kind of like the way the starch thickens the soup a little bit. AND - I have to admit I've been known to add a few drops of yellow food coloring to make it look "richer"!!

Tjustin said...

Also....I usually forget the noodles altogether and just add egg-based rivels!

Avofav said...

Mark, ask Teresa about the rivels. It also makes a good soup. You wouldn't need the noodles. Mom also did that alot.

seasonwithspice said...

Hi Sheila, either way works just fine (I'm with you on the less dirty dishes!). Just depends on how much starch you want in the soup. Following the tradition of my mom's soup, I boiled the noodles separately to make it more watery. Love, Mark

seasonwithspice said...

Instead of the yellow food coloring, try ground turmeric. Just a small pinch will really turn the soup a rich yellow (and you get all the health benefits of turmeric)

seasonwithspice said...

Rivels are a great idea. Will make it for my next soup recipe.

Sheila Braegelmann said...

I am also a rivel person, noodles get soggy if left in the frig too long but rivels are always good. One of these times skip the nutmeg and go heavy on the dill, I think it compliments chicken soup very well also.

beti said...

I never thought that nutmeg could do such a great difference it looks really good and so comforting

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Beti! Yeah, it's too bad that we are starting to lose our knowledge of spices in cooking., like nutmeg in soup. Cooking traditions just don't get passed down through the generations like they used to. Trying our best here to keep many of them going on Season with Spice.

HungryBiotch said...

I'm not a big thyme person. Next time I'd use half of what was called for. Other than that, delish! Tripled the recipe and used the leftovers (added in a cup more of sautéed mushrooms) and put over a new York steak. YUM!

Season with Spice said...

We've noticed that too - that thyme is one of those love it or hate it spices.

Happy you enjoyed the soup!

Season with Spice said...

We've noticed that too - that thyme is one of those love it or hate it spices.

Happy you enjoyed the soup!

Me said...

In traditional mennonite chicken noodle soup we use bay leaves and star anise. I couldn't imagine a more flavorful soup. You should give it a try.

Season with Spice said...

That's a great combo for soup. Star anise is used widely in Asian soups too.

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