Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, I have been surrounded by my share of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. One of the dishes that is a popular one for church sales and fire company dinners is chicken corn noodle soup. It’s exactly what it sounds like – chicken noodle soup with corn in it.
When the weather turns cool and rainy (or when I’m sick), the canned chicken noodle soup just won’t do it for me… I start to crave the homemade chicken corn noodle soup that I grew up with. Last week we had a few chilly and rainy days, so it seemed like the perfect time to whip up a batch of soup. I didn’t have a recipe (well, maybe I do have one, but I didn’t bother to look for it), and I’ve never actually made it myself before, so I was flying by the seat of my pants (or strings of my apron?). In the end, everything came together pretty easily, and it was exactly what I had been hoping for.
I started with a whole chicken and made a giant batch of soup. It freezes well, so don’t be afraid to pop a few containers of soup into your freezer for later in the winter when you need a warm, comforting bowl of soup!
Chicken Corn Noodle Soup
For the chicken broth:
- Whole chicken (4 1/2 – 5 pounds)
- 1 small head garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 ribs celery, cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- Few sprigs of sage
- Few sprigs of thyme
- Water to cover (about 8 cups)
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 ribs celery, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 4 ears corn, steamed and cut off the cob
- 1 pound egg noodles
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Start by preparing the chicken broth and cooking the chicken. Place the chicken in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, black peppercorns, Kosher salt, sage, and thyme. Add enough water to just cover the chicken and vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a large cutting board. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the chicken from the bones and shred with two forks. Meanwhile, strain the remaining vegetables and herbs from the chicken broth, and set the broth aside.
To prepare the soup, heat the olive oil in a large soup kettle or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook the vegetables in the olive oil, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until tender.
Add the reserved chicken broth to the vegetables. Stir in the poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil. Stir in the shredded chicken, corn, and egg noodles. Continue to cook, stirring occasionaly, until the noodles are soft – about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and serve immediately.
Note – I like my soup to be thick and not have too much broth. You could add additional chicken broth or water to the soup after adding the chicken, corn, and noodles, if you like more broth in your soup. Season with the salt and pepper after adding the additional liquid.