Until recently, I’d never made chicken soup of any kind. Putting forth effort to never denigrate the lore of and, certainly, the reputation of this most delicious and satisfying soup, I made a pact with myself to never make it until I was sure I could do it right the first time.

That time had come.

Chicken Soup

That bowl of soup above is an example of a life-affirming event for me. Yeah, yeah, I know – here he goes again with the stories of food making life worth living. You should be glad I have these episodes so that I don’t wallow in misery all the time!

The broth is absolutely key here, which means that everything that goes into making the broth is of absolute importance. I finally got a clue about making this broth from the book that makes a cameo appearance in the photo above: Alice WatersThe Art of Simple Food. Indeed, simple is what this is: one free-range organic whole chicken (preferable dead and plucked of feathers), carrots, celery, onions, garlic, salt, peppercorns, a bit of bouquet garni, a bunch of water, and some time to kick back, relax, and read.

After approximately six hours of low simmering, the broth was finished and I was left with the equivalent of culinary gold and some exquisitely tender chicken. I used some of the broth for the soup and froze the rest for sauces and such. After adding freshly chopped carrots, all I needed to do was bring the soup to a simmer again to soften the carrots a bit and then finish off with a final seasoning of salt and pepper. Saltiness is important to a good chicken soup.

I added some of the shredded chicken and some home-made noodles to the bowl and, voila, instant comfort.

And, do I have to say that Kim thought it was the best chicken soup she’d ever had? I’d have to humbly agree with her. It was even better than my Mom’s.