Some meals seem so ordinary that I’ve never considered making them.  Not that I cook way outside the box but take chicken noodle soup, for example.

It’s one of the most basic soups, one of the most traditional, and probably the most well-known to be consumed when you’re sick.  I’ve always thought of it as just “eh” and that sentiment probably comes from the fact that I was fed this soup mostly from a can as a kid.  Actually, I always thought it was kind of an annoying soup to eat with all those little noodles slurping around everywhere, impossible to get on your spoon. So I never considered making it.

And then my feelings changed when I ended up with 6 quarts of stock and 6 cups of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.

Sure, I could have found a million other things to use the stock for but I firmly decided to make my own chicken [turkey] noodle soup and try to change my mediocre beliefs about this classic soup.  And in 25 minutes, using another promised Barefoot Contessa soup recipe, I had hot soup ready to eat.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make.  I couldn’t believe how amazing it was.

It was all the things I had been missing from this canned soup as a kid: flavor, texture, richness, comfort.  And the best part about it was that there were leftovers. Again, leftovers of leftovers but these leftovers are really the best kind.  You can only eat so much leftover turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes but when you have leftovers of a completely different meal made from that orginal turkey, that’s a whole other story.

And lucky for me, I’ve got more shredded turkey and stock frozen so this soup will be making an appearance again soon on one of the those inevitably frigid New England nights.

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Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
source: adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup medium-diced carrots (3 carrots)
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts homemade chicken/turkey stock (I made my own using a recipe very similar to Shawnda’s, but you could also use boxed stock)
2 cups wide egg noodles
2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken (or turkey)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the celery, carrots, salt, and pepper and cook for 10-12 minutes until softened.  Pour in the stock, bring to a boil over high heat, and add the noodles.  Cook the noodles for 10 minutes, then add the chicken (or turkey) and parsley.  Allow the chicken/turkey to heat through.  Serve hot.

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