I have a confession to make. I (usually) don’t like chicken soup. Perhaps I had one too many “cold remedies” as a child. And now I find it uninspiring. But when I tasted a Sage Roasted Chicken Soup a half dozen years ago, I was wowed.
Slightly creamy and reminiscent of sage stuffing, the soup practically cried out, “I’m special.”
It was on a Thanksgiving that didn’t start out on a positive note—though I don’t remember the details. But for some reason, our usual plans were off and we didn’t know what we were going to do. We went back and forth and no answer seemed to work. Finally, my stepfather came up with an idea—dinner at the retirement community where he and mother lived, in one of the private dining rooms.
It had all the mark of “compromise”, rather than “win-win.” Until I tasted the soup… a delight! Recreating it has been on my to-do list ever since. And, every time I think of it, it reminds me of my stepfather’s tenacity in finding a solution. And the good things that come from never saying “can’t.”
In keeping with “can do,” the soup is very easy to make. None of the drama (and effort) that comes with boiling a good fat hen. You see, I almost always have good chicken broth around (made every time I roast a chicken). And I wanted it to be something easy enough that you wouldn’t need a special occasion to make it.
The added sage—along with a cup of half & half–transform a soup that, while well-loved, is a little (dare I say it) overused. Yes, everything old is new again!
‘Cause lots of joy comes from saying “I can”—even to soup.
- 2 leeks or 1 small onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 3 Tablespoons oil (I used organic chicken fat, but butter or liquid oil should be fine)
- 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth (homemade or good commercial)
- 1 cup chopped carrots (about 3 carrots)
- ¼ cup chopped celery or celery root
- 2 Tablespoons fresh or dried sage
- 1 Tablespoons dried parsley or 2 Tablespoons fresh
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 0-2 teaspoons salt (will vary based on amount of salt in the broth)
- 2 ounces homestyle egg noodles (aka “kluski”)
- 1 cup leftover chicken, chopped
- 1 cup half & half
- In a large saucepan, sautee chopped onion or leek in oil. When tender and starting to brown, add flour and sitr until moistened.
- On medium heat, gradually add chicken broth to the pan, stirring to keep lumps from forming. Add vegetables and herbs, then simmer until carrots are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add chicken and noodles and cook until noodles are tender (see package directions for time estimate). Stir in half & half and serve.