Category Archives: soup

Totally Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s been a really busy summer. My floral endeavors have pretty much taken over my creative life and I have very little room for blogging.

After four weddings this weekend and barely cooking for my family, I finally had time to prepare a home-cooked meal.

I started by making a really rich chicken stock. After simmering it for about six hours I strained it and then decided to make chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles.

It was a hit!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup | The Best Chicken Soup Ever from Alaskaknitnat.com

Here’s how I made it from start to finish.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 6 or so

I’ve divided up this recipe into to parts: the stock and then the soup. You can of course start with store-bought chicken stock, but there is something so satisfying about creating your own opaque chicken stock. Plus it’s way more flavorful than anything found at the store.

Ingredients for the stock:

  • 2-3 chicken carcasses
  • 1-2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions for the stock:

Using pliers, crack the bones of your chicken carcasses. I actually do this after eating a chicken and freeze it until I have two or three. I also had some frozen skin-on chicken thighs that I added as well just to use them up.

Add the carcass – bones, skin and all – to a large stock pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves. Fill the pot with water. You don’t need to be exact here at all. Just fill the pot, whatever size it is.

Cover and set over high flame. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, and simmer for several hours. I think I let mine simmer for six hours while I cleaned the house and made flowers for an elopement tomorrow.

Turn off the heat and let cool for 30 minutes or so.

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large liquid measuring cup and start ladling the stock into the sieve. Use the back of the ladle to mash up the solids so as much liquid as possible comes out.

Toss the solids and pour the stock into jars. Repeat until you’ve strained all the stock. Store the stock in the fridge for a couple of weeks or freeze for several months.

Ingredients for the noodle soup:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 pound chicken – if you have leftover chicken that works, but raw chicken is good too
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the noodles: (this is enough for two batches. Save the remaining dough and make some fresh pasta the following day. Or halve the recipe)

  • 300 g all-purpose flour (or 2 cups)
  • 100 g semolina flour (or 2/3 cup)
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

For the noodles, mix the flours together in the bowl of a standing mixer. Make a well in the center and add the eggs. Whisk up the eggs with a fork until they are combined. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium-low until a dough is formed. Turn onto a table sprinkled with flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and not sticky.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. I had three skin-on chicken thighs so I fried those up to render the fat instead of adding oil.

Add the onions and celery. Sprinkle on some salt. Sauté until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and add the chicken. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to simmer while you make the noodles.

After the dough has rested for 30 minutes or so, cut it into two pieces. Place one piece in the fridge for fresh pasta tomorrow.

Cut the remaining dough into three equal pieces. Cover two with plastic wrap while you roll out the first ball.

Add the pasta rolling adaptor to your Kitchen Aid (or use the old-fashioned version). Flatten the piece of dough with your hands and flour on both sides. Run it through the largest setting. Fold the dough in half and run it through again. Repeat about six times and flour again on both sides if it’s feeling tacky. It should feel smooth.

Run the pasta sheet through the next setting just once. Repeat until setting 6 or until the desired thickness. I typically go to setting 8 on my Kitchen Aid but that’s for delicate pasta like vermicelli. For this dish I wanted something sturdier.

Hang the sheet of dough on a pasta rack (I find a laundry drying rack to be super useful for this). Repeat with other two balls of dough. Let the dough air dry for about 15 minutes. This makes it easier to cut.

In the meantime, remove the chicken from the pot and break it up with the whisk adaptor of your Kitchen Aid (or a fork would do). Place it back in the pot along with the green beans. Bring the soup back to a simmer.

Flour each sheet of dough and cut it into your desired noodle shape. You could run it through the fettuccini roller but I prefer hand-cut wide noodles.

Add your noodles to the pot and cover to bring it back to a boil. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until noodles are cooked through. Typically I prefer al dente, but for soup I let them cook a little longer.

Serve in bowls with freshly grated pepper.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup | The Best Chicken Soup Ever from Alaskaknitnat.com

Creamy Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Here’s a quick, delicious soup that uses pantry staples so you don’t have you leave your house when it’s -3 F outside, which is exactly where I found myself last night. I added red bell pepper as an afterthought and it created an extra tanginess to the soup.

Toss in some chopped baby spinach right at the end for a nutritious bump.

Creamy tomato and red pepper soup | A recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Creamy Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • One onion, chopped
  • 4 baby red bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • one 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups chopped baby spinach (optional)
  • cream, for serving

Directions:

Coat a dutch oven or soup pot with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté until onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant, about a minute.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir so everything is well coated. Cook for about a minute. Add the stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and oregano and give it a good stir. Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat to low. The soup should begin to thicken nicely. If it’s too thick, add more stock.

Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom of the pot from burning. Use an immersion blender to make the soup smooth.

Five minutes before serving, add the spinach, if desired.

Spoon into bowls and stir in a dollop of cream just before serving.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Soup

Everyone loves ordering spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer, amirite? Well here’s a soup version that’s every bit as flavorful, probably nearly as fattening and downright delicious.

I checked out from the library “The Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook” for funsies and it’s packed with super tasty recipes. I tweaked this one a little to boost the flavor by adding onions and deglazing with white wine.

I’ve never used the sauté function on my Instant Pot, out of fear mostly, but I tried it out and it works great! You could definitely make this recipe on the stove top, but it was pretty darn quick in the pressure cooker.

This creamy soup is packed with flavor, and hey – spinach is good for you so let’s call this a little bit healthy too.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Soup | A delicious recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com adapted from "The Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook" by Mark Sisson

Spinach Artichoke Dip Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts in water, drained
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of liquid
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano for serving

Directions:

Melt butter in a sauté pan (or use the sauté function on your Instant Pot). Add the onions and mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook until all the liquid has come out of the mushrooms, about 10 minutes.

Pour in the white wine and let it bubble away a little for a couple of minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.

Add contents to the Instant Pot if you haven’t already. Add the artichokes, mustard, sage, thyme, granulated garlic, salt and pepper and stir till everything is well coated.

Pour in the broth and water. Place cover on the Instant Pot. Make sure the release valve is set on “sealing” and pressure cook on any food setting (I used poultry) for 7 minutes.

Let the Instant Pot sit for 5 minutes, then carefully release the steam release valve.

Stir in the thawed and drained spinach and let the soup warm it for a couple of minutes. Stir in the cream.

Use an immersion blender to blend the soup slightly, if you’d like. This made it more appetizing because I didn’t have odd chunks of mushroom and spinach in every bite.

Serve in bowls topped with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Soup | A delicious recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com adapted from "The Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook" by Mark Sisson

Hungarian Sausage & Pepper Stew

I love when my friend Mat takes over my kitchen and invents dishes. It’s like I get a night off from thinking about dinner and I play sous chef: dicing veggies, finding him utensils or even just lazing on the couch while he does all the work.

Mat has been living the Keto lifestyle for five years so I know whatever he concocts will not only be delicious but also nutritious (or sometimes it’s just cheese; let’s face it, cheese is good.)

Today was rainy and chilly – a perfect evening for a warming stew. We raided my fridge and made the most of a Costco rotisserie chicken.

What Mat came up with was just what we needed on a night like this.

Hearty Hungarian Stew | A Perfect Fall Meal from Alaskaknitnat.com

Sausage, Pepper and Paprika Stew

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 5-7 baby bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • A couple of dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound kielbasa, sliced
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cups sour cream
  • rice for serving (if Keto isn’t an issue)

Hearty Hungarian Stew | A Perfect Fall Meal from Alaskaknitnat.com

Directions:

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high flame. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and cook another few minutes.

Add the paprika, tomato paste, bay leaf, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and kielbasa. Cover, bring to a boil and turn down heat to remain at a simmer. Add pepper to taste.

Simmer for 30 minutes. Toss in the chicken and simmer another 10 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.

Serve over rice and top with a dollop of sour cream.

Hearty Hungarian Stew | A Perfect Fall Meal from Alaskaknitnat.com

Hearty Italian bean and pasta soup: Pasta e Fagioli

It’s officially fall and after an unusually sunny early September, the weather finally settled into the typical cool, windy Alaska autumn.

It’s perfect soup weather. There’s something so satisfying about making soup from scratch. Usually I have all the ingredients I need and it’s a therapeutic process to chop, sauté and simmer until you have a meal that warms you through and through.

The recent issue of Cook’s Country magazine has a simple recipe for Pasta e Fagioli. I made it this week and added my own flair to the recipe.

Pasta e Fagioli | An easy weeknight meal from alaskaknitnat.com

Hearty Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2, 15-ounce cans of white beans such as cannellini, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, washed and chopped fine
  • 2.5-3 oz. pancetta, chopped fine
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 ounces mini pasta shapes such as shells or ditalini
  • 3 handfuls baby super greens, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Pasta e Fagioli | An easy weeknight meal from alaskaknitnat.com

Directions:

Place one can of rinsed beans and the water in a blender and blend till smooth.

In a dutch oven or large saucepan, add a glug of olive oil and heat until oil is shimmering. Add the onion, celery, carrot, pancetta, salt and pepper and cook until veggies are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add tomato paste, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the broth, basil, other can of beans, and pureed beans. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.

Add the pasta and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When pasta has cooked for 5 minutes, stir in the greens and increase heat if needs be to remain at a boil. When pasta is al dente, remove pot from heat and stir in the cheese.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese.

Creamy Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is a meal I have only ever had as an adult. Growing up, my family would enjoy matzo ball soup once a year and that was as close as I got to this comforting wintertime stew.

When my best friend Kelly and I started cooking dinners together, she introduced me to her version of chicken and dumplings. Creamy, chicken soup with veggies and thick noodle-like dumplings made with biscuit dough.

Over the years we’ve made this dish several times without paying attention to how we prepare it. After making chicken and dumplings this week an Instagram fan asked for the recipe. I figured it was about time I wrote this down.

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings | A recipe from alaskaknitnat.com

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Serves 6

Cooking/prep time: about 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. butter or olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 carrots cut into small chunks
  • 1 pound of chicken (I like the breast tenderloins), cubed
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1.5 cartons chicken stock (about 48 oz.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or 2 Tbs. fresh)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your favorite biscuit dough recipe

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings | A recipe from alaskaknitnat.com

Directions:

Melt butter in a dutch oven. Add onions, celery, carrots, chicken and flour and cook till onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the cream of chicken soup, chicken stock and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat and simmer while you prepare the biscuit dough.

Make biscuit dough according to instructions. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut into 2-inch rectangles (doesn’t have to be exact).

Drop the dough into the soup, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.

Add the peas and simmer for a few minutes until they are heated through. If the soup is too thin, create a slurry of ¼ cup milk and two teaspoons of flour, pour it in the pot and simmer for another minute or so.

Serve on a cold day.

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings | A recipe from alaskaknitnat.com

Weeknight alphabet vegetable soup

When was the last time you had alphabet soup? Now that I think of it, I can’t remember ever having it, yet I always see the cute bag of dried alphabet pasta at the grocery store and think about making it.

My 5-year-old son has been showing an interest in cooking lately so we went to the library last week to check out kids cookbooks. One of the recipes was a tomato-based alphabet soup. He really wanted me to make it.

Fast forward to 4:30 p.m. today when I was driving home with zero plans for dinner. Thankfully I had already done the shopping for this meal. It came together in a jiffy!

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

This soup is packed with flavor and nutrition. The reason for the flavor? Pancetta and parmesan rind. Both add wonderful depth to the soup.

I also made chicken meatballs and dropped those in while cooking. I didn’t include the recipe for those, but you could use Italian sausage or any meatball recipe you prefer.

The verdict? My son and husband gobbled up this soup! Plus, we all had fun trying to spell words in our bowls. So much fun.

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Alphabet soup with vegetables

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 oz. pancetta, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced small
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4-5 leaves of swiss chard, chopped
  • 1, 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1.5 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 chunk of parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can of canellini beans, liquid reserved
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 oz. dried alphabet pasta, or small pasta of your choice
  • 1 pound of meatballs or Italian sausage

Directions:

Add a little olive oil to a large dutch oven and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the pancetta and sauté until cooked but not browned. Add the onion, carrots, chard and celery and cook till onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, beef stock, chicken stock, bay leaf, garlic powder, oregano, basil pepper flakes, parmesan rind and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Cover, bring to a simmer and turn heat to medium-low. Add raw sausage or meatballs and simmer, partially uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Add the frozen green beans and return to a simmer for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain the beans and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. Whisk the flour into the bean liquid and add this to the soup to thicken it slightly.

Add the beans and pasta to the soup and simmer for 7 minutes or until pasta is done.

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Serve with generous amounts of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Alphabet vegetable soup is a crowdpleaser - and it's good for you too! Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com