Chicken noodle soup.
Not just any chicken noodle soup. A poor man’s version. For those of us who like to be frugal and get use of every penny.
I’ve been excited to share this soup recipe with you, my dear readers, even if it is 105º in August and the very thought of hot soup causes me to perspire. I still love me a good nourishing soup. Sweat and all.
But, last week something happened.
Call me a newbie farmer, something just seemed so wrong about posting a chicken soup recipe while watching four beautiful new “ladies” (my new nickname for our hens) outside my window. A week later, morning after morning of poop duty, dealing with thousands of flies (it has been like a plaque, forget Egypt, come visit our backyard homestead), and the reality of life with chickens, has caused life to resume back to normal.
We are back to eating chicken.
All is well with the world again.
I’m finally ready to pull up my polka-dot farm boots and share this incredibly frugal and flavorful chicken soup.
When our family consumes chicken, it is nearly always in its whole form. Bones, organs, skin, and even feet. The local farms in my area only sell whole pastured chickens along with other chicken “goodies” (feet, necks, etc.). I fully believe in respecting the life of the animal which gave itself for our family’s nourishment. For me, this means making use of the whole animal.
I also desire to be a good steward with our finances and the money we spend. Please remind me of this next time I visit Target. Seriously, I need major Target help.
I pay around $4-5 per pound for a whole pastured chicken. At $16-20 a chicken, I feel responsible for being wise with such a purchase. I’m always looking for ways to stretch a whole chicken. Broth, lunches, chicken salad. We use every last edible part.
This soup is perfectly nourishing and makes enough for dinner, lunches, and plenty for the freezer. Music to my ears–nourishing, cheap, and respectful.
Have I mentioned how much I love this soup?
A love that extends far beyond 105º summers.
And to top it all off, this soup is made in a crock pot. Five minutes in the morning is all the work needed. The slow cooker does the hard work for you.
- 4 cups water
- 5 cups homemade chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 teaspoons good-quality salt (where to buy)
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 whole raw chicken (or chicken carcass. This means you already cooked the chicken and used the meat. Some meat will still remain on the bones. This meat will fall off while the soup cooks. You can also use a raw whole chicken.)
- 2 cups macaroni noodles (where to buy)
- Chop the carrots, celery, and onion. Mince the garlic. Set aside.
- Place the chicken in the crock pot.
- Add the chopped veggies and garlic to the crock pot along with all the salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, water, and chicken broth. Do not add the macaroni noodles.
- Turn the crock pot on low and allow to cook 8-10 hours.
- Return to your crock pot. Add in 2 cups of macaroni noodles and allow to cook for 20 minutes (still in the crock pot). The heat from the soup will cook the noodles.
- Remove the bones and sit down to a frugal, nourishing meal that only took minutes to prepare!
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