Chicken Noodle Soup. Is there anything better on this planet than a nice warm bowl when the weather turns cold and possibly (or more likely in Vancouver) rainy outside? I’d like to think not. Now, it’s no secret that living in Vancouver has brought out my inner soup lover. My absolute favorite being a nice traditional beef pho. Whether I make it at home or not, it’s just a great pick me up on those colder, wetter days.
A few weeks ago at the farmer’s market near work, the chicken farmer told me he brought a bunch of stewing hens with him. So I bought one because I have always wanted to make the classic chicken noodle soup from scratch.
Now, if you’re not familiar with a stewing hen, it’s essentially the chicken that was used for laying and no longer produces eggs anymore. They are much older than the roasting or frying hens you find in the store. That also means they’re a lot tougher yet have a richer more chicken-y flavor to them that lends itself perfectly for soups and stews and this one was no exception.
Luckily (or maybe not) for me, after I made a batch of this soup, I started to develop a bit of a cold so over the course of the weekend, I ate the entire batch, one bowl at a time. I even started to get creative and poached a duck egg in the broth while I heated it up and let me tell you, that really amped it up another notch. This soup was so tasty, I can’t wait got get another stewing hen to make it again.
- 1 4-5 lb Stewing Hen
- 1 head of garlic, sliced in half
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 4 large carrots roughly chopped
- 4 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- handful fresh parsley
- 1 tbs turmeric
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbs whole black peppercorns
- 1 large piece kombu
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- filtered water, cold
- Meat from stewing hen
- Soup Broth
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 4 large duck or chicken eggs
- 1 package kelp noodles
- Place all broth ingredients in an Instant Pot or other large pressure cooker. Cover with cold water up until the max fill line is reached.
- Pressure cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Release pressure slowly from cooker.
- Remove stewing hen from Instant Pot and set on cutting board allowing it to cool slightly.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove all meat from stewing hen and place in an air tight glass container.
- Return bones to Instant Pot and slow cook on HIGH for an additional 8-12 hours. Basically overnight.
- Allow broth to cool somewhat then strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
- Place broth in a large pot and bring to a light simmer on the stove.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and roughly chop into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.
- Crack duck eggs into individual ramekins.
- When broth is at a simmer GENTLY place duck eggs in broth and allow to poach. About 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove duck eggs and set aside.
- Add chicken, carrots, and celery to simmering broth and bring to a light boil. Cover and cook about 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- While soup is cooking, place a handful of kelp noodles at the bottom of each bowl and lightly place a duck egg on top of each bowl of noodles.
- Remove soup from heat and gently ladle out into each bowl. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy.
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