This is a simple recipe. No doubt you’ll look at the ingredients and directions and think, hummm, that’s really easy. I’m totally in! Actually, French cooking should be easy. Julia taught us that concept. But, I think the key to this french country chicken stock noodle soup is the quality of the ingredients.
First of all, is there a difference between chicken stock and chicken broth. Well, yes there is, and in this recipe I chose stock. In fact I made my own stock. But you don’t have to do that. You can buy it. An easy way to think about it, and, yes, this is reeeeally simple, is that a broth is made from meat and a stock is made from bones, including many times meat. The bones, cartilage, and skin add gelatin which gives a richer deeper flavor than just broth. Now, don’t get me wrong, broth will be good, but stock will be better. Better good! If you want more information on stock versus broth, here’s a good article from The Kitchn.
Secondly, let’s talk about the noodles. I used ‘old fashioned extra wide’ egg noodles. The brand I chose was Mrs. Millers Homemade Noodles. I’m sure you can find something similar either at your grocer or by ordering through Amazon where you can buy 6 packages (16 ounces each) for about $30. I use these noodles with many other recipes too including pasta with bolognese sauce, noodles and cheese, and more. Trust me, it’s worth the extra price and effort because these noodles, or something similar, really taste homemade. They’re thicker and have a huge depth of flavor.
Finally, with the onions, carrots and celery. Fresh. No frozen. If you can manage organic brands, great. If not, wash those veggies well. I mean scrub a dub dub! And, the herbs must be fresh. Nothing dried. I had two taste testers for this soup. Mr. Bill who is a big man who loves to cook and eat. He repaired our docks after Hurricane Matthew, and, Ben, my husband. When Mr. Bill walked in the house at about 9 am as I was cooking this soup, his first words were, ‘Wow! Something smells really really good!’ Well, as they were tasting the soup, Mr. Bill commented, ‘When I bring the spoon to my mouth, the aroma of those herbs is wonderful!’ Both gave it great reviews, and Mr. Bill said he’d be making it!