A rich, hearty, and nutritious meal, perfect for a cold winter day.
- 1 4-4½-pound SLAP Farms pasture raised whole chicken
- 6 quarts of water
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 3 large celery ribs, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces of egg noodles (optional)
Place whole chicken in a large pot (at least 8 quarts) and cover with water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for at least 2 hours or up to 5 hours. Cover the pot while simmering, leaving the lid slightly ajar, to reduce evaporation.
After simmering, turn off the heat, remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Strain the chicken broth through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth (this step is optional, but it helps to remove any tiny bits and clarify the broth). Wipe out the pot and return the strained broth to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the vegetables and bay leaf, and simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, separate the cooled chicken meat from the bones and skin. Chop the chicken meat into bite sized pieces. When the vegetables are tender, add the chopped chicken. If using, add the egg noodles and simmer until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
1½ cups of quick cooking barley or rice can be substituted for the egg noodles if desired.
Leftover soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.