Sunday, October 13, 2019

October Chill...Time for Soup!

Hi Friends - It has been awhile since I posted.  The days just keep flying past.  Seriously, when I retired I thought I would have ALL this time to do everything I felt I did not have time to do while working.  Hah!   I don't know how I found time to work?!?!   The days are so full with activities here at Willow Valley, and all the other things that fill up our days.   
This weekend the weather turned cooler and it seems like it will stay that way.  I love it !  I am ready for Pumpkin Muffins ( you can click on this for the link to the recipe) and cozy nights.   Today we had the first fire of the season while we read the Sunday newspaper and enjoyed some of those muffins and tea!
Fall is also the time for soup...and we just love good chicken noodle soup.  I come from a long line of good soup makers. While I never really knew my grandmother - or Baba, as she was called  - because she passed away when I was 11 months old - my mother always talked about the good soup she would make.   A family story goes that once she was ill and someone brought chicken soup and my Baba said "the only way this could be called chicken soup is if a chicken flew over the roof when the soup was on the stove!!".   My mother, Mary, and my aunts Annie and Katie were also great soup makers.   Annie and Katie were also famous for their home made noodles.   I have not attempted home made noodles, but it's on my list ! The heritage of soup comes along with the value of thrift my mother introduced to me.  A child of the Great Depression, she wasted nothing. forward to today.   We finally got a Costco membership and enjoy all the wonderful benefits - especially the rotisserie chicken!   
We get one each time we visit....and enjoy a nice chicken dinner with veggies the day we bring it home.  Then it goes into the refrigerator and we have it on a salad or a sandwich for lunch for the next day.

Then, I glean as much chicken as I can from the carcass and freeze to have on hand for recipes that call for cooked, cut up chicken.   And here is where the guilt kicks in.... I go to put the chicken bones into the garbage and I can hear and sometimes even feel my mother whispering in my ear "are you going to throw that out ?  That is such a waste - there is still a lot of good meat on there and it would make wonderful soup!"  And that is how a convenient, take home chicken makes it into soup....
I cut up an onion, celery, and carrots.  I prefer to use large carrots, but will use whatever I have on hand.
I throw all the veggies and the chicken into a large stock pot, fill the pot with water, then add garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.

Bringing everything to a full boil, I then turn the pot down to simmer and let it go until the chicken bones fall apart....about an hour or so.  However long until it looks done.   I am doing this right now and it smells amazing!

OK...this looks awful.  But I take a slotted spoon and pull out all the bones and pick off any chicken meat I can find.

I divide the meat into quart freezer containers.  I bought a bunch of containers at Dollar Tree so that I always have some on hand for when the soup mood strikes.
I really can't tell you how much it varies from time to time.
I don't put the noodles in right away.  I purchase fine egg noodles at the grocery store and since I usually freeze the soup I then add the noodles when I re-heat it and cook until they are tender.   
This "I can't throw away the chicken" has become a blessing - several people in our community have been under the weather with surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, etc.  If I know they are home and need a meal I put a nicer label on the soup ( also from Dollar Tree) and package up some noodles in a cellophane treat bag, tie it with a ribbon, and deliver it.  That way they can eat it right away, or freeze it for later.   Everyone returns the container...with the request for a refill when I make soup again!
And, it is so nice to have a freezer filled with soup - sometimes you just want a cozy supper with soup and bread, and a nice glass of white wine.  There is your meal, ready to enjoy.
I think my dear, departed mother would be happy that I am carrying on the soup tradition.  Whenever she would make one of her many amazing soups and we would sit down to enjoy it she would always say "Good Soup, Kid!"...which I think is another Great Depression reference.   Growing up they had boarders staying in the family home and she said one of them, a man, used to enjoy my grandmother's soup and would look at my mother after he tasted it and say that phrase. It is amazing...from a 4.99 chicken we get several meals and get to share home made goodness with our neighbors!
Is is getting cooler wherever you are ?  Do you make soup ?   I am so glad you stopped by Our New Vista today - please leave a comment below,and maybe share a soup recipe or memory.   Happy Fall!  

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...