There’s simply nothing better on a cold windy day than a good bowl of piping hot soup. Add a bit of drifting snow to the equation and it’s almost mandatory that a good hearty soup come into play. Thursday was that day. Though the snow never did stick, the temperature shifted from the mid 70’s to a crisp 28 degrees. Add wind-chill and you’ve got 20 degrees and a pot of soup on the stove was the perfect way to take the chill out of the house, and us.
This variation on the classic chicken noodle soup gains a lot of flavor from the addition of chorizo, both to the broth and as an addition to the finished soup. The addition is simple, but the flavors the spicy little sausages adds to the broth is amazingly rich, deep and filling in ways that no “normal” chicken noodle soup could ever be. The broth is also made with a bit of cilantro for a further depth and the addition of a slightly earthy flavor that is just a bit unexpected in a bowl of chicken soup, but is immensely satisfying.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 5 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- 5 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 3.5 lbs chicken thighs
- 4 links Spanish style chorizo, chopped
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 2 quarts chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth
- 1 quart cold water, or as needed
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 tbsp. dried thyme
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. egg noodles
- Heat oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1/2 of the chopped chorizo to the oil and allow to render down. (Approximately 5 minutes.) Add chicken pieces skin side sown and cook unil well browned on skin side. (This may need to be done in batches, about 5 minutes per batch, don’t worry about the chorizo…)
- Remove chicken from pot, place in a large bowl and set aside. Add 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks and 2 onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent. (About 10 minutes.)
- Return the chicken to the pot. Pour over chicken broth and enough water to cover chicken pieces by two inches. Add salt, pepper bay leaf, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes and 1/4 bunch of cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer approximately 2 hours.
- Remove from heat. Strain contents of pot into a large bowl or another stockpot through a colander covered in damp rinsed cheesecloth.
- (TIP! If you own a pasta pot that came with a steamer basket, simply line the steamer with cheesecloth and use it instead. It’s a great no-mess alternative that makes the broth easy to handle and makes picking out the chicken a whole lot easier!)
- Remove chicken. and allow to cool until manageable.
- Wipe stockpot clean and return broth to pot. Add remaining carrots, onions, celery, cilantro and chorizo. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
- While stock is simmering, discard chicken skin and bones. Cut or tear chichen into bite-sized pieces.
- Once vegetables are tender, add squash and noodles. Allow to simmer until noodles are fully cooked, adding more water if necessary.
- Return chicken to pot and simmer until heated through. Test for seasoning.
- Serve garnished with a few cilantro leaves.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
To be honest, nothing. I think this was one of those singularly perfect dishes that came from inspiration and became something far more than the sum of its parts. I’ll be making this again in the future.
Links to other recipes like this: