Monday, December 19, 2011

The Health Benefits of Homemade Stock & Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

It’s finally starting to feel like winter in DC. As many of us have noticed, as the temperatures continue to drop, so do the capabilities of our immune systems.
Chicken noodle soup has long been renowned for its healing properties, but do you know why?

The answer lies in the stock: “Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals.”** These minerals along with the gelatin found in stock help to boost the immune system, aid in digestion, and enhance the way our bodies use protein.

However, most store-bought, canned soups lack these infection-fighting properties and contain very little nutrition in comparison to soup made with homemade stock. The difference lies in the use of animal bones, which are the source of the vitamins and minerals. Most canned soups are not made with bones, but rather, are artificially flavored (often using MSG) and then nutritionally enhanced with vitamins. Not only has MSG been proven to be harmful to humans, the artificial nutrients are harder for our bodies to absorb.

Below is a great chicken noodle soup recipe that includes directions for homemade stock. The stock keeps you healthy and it tastes better too! 


Delicious, nutritious stock in the making

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1 chicken (4 pounds)
4 stalks celery with leaves
4 carrots, peeled
3 parsnips, peeled
2 yellow onions, peeled and halved, studded with 4 whole cloves
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh dill
6 sprigs fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
4 quarts water
Noodles (see recipe)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Place chicken in a large soup pot. Add celery, carrots, parsnips, onions, garlic, bay leaves, sprigs of dill and parsley, salt and pepper. Add water. Bring to a boil, reduce head to a simmer and cook, covered, for 2 hours.
2. Skim any foam that has formed on top of soup. Remove chicken from soup and cool. Remove skin and bones from chicken; shred meat, cover, and reserve.
3. Strain the soup, discard the vegetables and return liquid to the pot. Add minced garlic and adjust seasonings. Bring to a boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes to intensify flavors.
4. Make noodles (see recipe).
5. Before serving, bring chicken broth to a gentle boil. Add noodles and cook soup for 4 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Gently stir in reserved shredded chicken, chopped dill, and parsley. Heat through and serve.

Noodles
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons for rolling surface

1. Beat egg and salt together in a bowl. With a fork, gently mix in the 2/3 cup of flour. Gather in a ball with hands and knead to form noodle dough.
2. Dust a rolling surface with additional flour and roll dough very thinly into a rectangular shape. Dust top of dough lightly with flour.
3. Cut dough into thin noodle strips or into desired noodle shape.
4. Let rest on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Continue with step 5 of soup recipe.





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