It’s that time of year; my favorite time of year. The air is getting cooler, and the leaves are slowly beginning their changes. Fawns are losing their spots, and I’m getting heads up emails that there are only 4 more summer markets left for my favorite farmers market! That means only a few more weekends left of trying to get as much produce as I can because… Winter is coming. With the change is weather comes the fall allergies and nasty little sick bugs. Mon petit chou ended up with a fever last weekend, which resulted in me calling my mom about 15 million times asking her how she makes her beloved Chicken Spätzle Soup. It’s definitely an all-day process, so it’s something that needs to be started in the morning if you want it done by dinner. Thankfully, it’s something you don’t have to stand around tending to all day, there’s a lot of simmering and waiting.
I can attest, homemade chicken soup is most certainly healing. A nice combination of a big bowl of soup, a cup of hot tea, and a shot of warmed Slivovitz with honey sipped slowly will make you feel a million times better (unless it’s something like the swine flu… nothing makes you feel better when you have that!). Now all I have to do is teach him how to make it for when I get sick (though I did put a lot away in the freezer just in case)!
What you need...
This recipe is for an 8 quart stock pot. If you have a larger pot, you will need to add more of all the ingredients in order to get the best flavor!
- 5 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (you NEED this for the best flavor)
- 1 pound of whole carrots
- 6 stalks of celery
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3-4 chicken bouillon cubes
- Place the chicken thighs, 2 whole carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and the whole onion-outer layer peeled off into a stock pot. If you have a stock put with a pasta strainer piece/attachment, this is very helpful to have when you need to remove all of this later. Fill the pot up with water to about 3 inches from the top, to prevent anything from boiling over. Stir in the salt and bring to a boil.
- Once the soup has reached a boil, turn down and simmer covered for about 4 hours.
- After the soup has simmered for 4 hours, remove the chicken, carrots, celery and onion. Keep the soup at a simmer while covered. Let the chicken cool enough to safely handle. While the chicken cools, chop the remaining carrots and celery into your preferable size. I prefer coins and crescents, this gives nice big chunks in your soup to eat!
- Put the carrots and celery into the pot. Pull the chicken meat from the bones, removing and discarding the skin. Pull apart or cut into bite size pieces. Return to the pot. Add in the bouillon cubes. I use 3, but if you like a saltier soup, add one or two more. Remember, you can always add salt to your own personal bowls, but you can’t take salt out! Cover and bring back to a simmer for another 3-4 hours.
- About 30 minutes prior to serving, bring the soup back to a boil to ready the water to cook the dumplings (or noodles if you prefer). See the following instructions for the dumplings.
For one batch of dumplings/spätzles...
(I recommend doubling or tripling the batch, it all depends on how small you can make them, and how much you like dumplings!)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
- Combine the flour and egg in a bowl, adding a little bit of water at a time while constantly stirring. You want the batter to be thick, like waffle batter. A few lumps can remain.
- While the soup is boiling, either spoon in the batter (for larger dumpling), or pour the batter through a spätzle maker (for small dumplings) constantly moving the slider basket back and forth to cut the batter off into small spätzles.
This whole recipes makes a pretty large pot of soup. It easily serves 8 people, probably more.
Serve with some warmed, buttered, hearty, fresh bread from a local bakery.
Macros for something like this are way too variable, so those really can't be calculated accurately.