Before I get into the recipe for chicken noodle soup I have to say one thing about my cooking and my recipes. I love my pressure cooker. If there is a way I can make something in my pressure cooker I will try it. So if there is a pressure cooker alternative I will probably list it after listing the conventional method. My mother won't touch the pressure cooker. She grew up in a time when pressure cookers blew up and burnt people's homes down. But for those of you who have heard similar stories and also fear the power of the pressure cooker keep in mind that they are made much better these days. As with any tool, kitchen or otherwise, if used appropriately and following the manufacturers' directions can be used quite successfully without incident.
Now, here is the recipe for the Chicken Noodle Soup. To get the most nutrients out of the chicken I recommend buying a whole chicken, 3-4 pounds, and cooking the whole thing using the broth created in that process. Then cooking the bones again for the rest of the broth needed for the soup. If there is not time for this you can use 3-4 pounds of chicken breast and just boil it in water or chicken broth and make up the rest of the chicken broth with canned or boxed broth.
For the chicken:
1 whole chicken, rinsed
4 cups of water
Simmer for about 1 hour till meat falls off the bone. Remove chicken from the broth and let cool so that you can separate the meat from the bones (do not discard bones, they can be used to make chicken stock, which you will need for the soup), can be left overnight in the refrigerator. Strain the broth and reserve. To reduce fat content cool the broth for a few hours and you can scoop the gelatinous fat off the top.
Pressure cooker option: Just use 2 cups of water and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.
For basic chicken stock:
Bones from chicken
2 carrots rough chopped
2 celery stalks rough chopped
1 onion rough chopped
12 cups water
1 Tbl thyme
Place all ingredients in a 6 qt pot and simmer for 1-2 hours. The longer the simmer the richer the flavor, just monitor the water level. When finished strain broth out and discard the bones and the veggies. This will be more stock than you need for this soup but you can freeze it and use it for a future dish. Alton Brown from the Food Network has a very good recipe for chicken stock that involves simmering for up to six hours, if you want to stock up on stock check his recipe out at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chicken-stock-recipe .
Pressure cooker option: Just use 8 cups of water and cook for 25 minutes at high pressure.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Reserved broth (approximately 4 cups)
5 cups chicken broth (either what you just made or from a box)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tsp thyme
Chicken, chopped or shredded (approximately 4 cups)
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup green beans, 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups wide egg noodles
3 garlic cloves, minced
juice of one lemon
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbl minced ginger
1 bunch parsley, minced
Hot sauce, to taste as a garnish
Add the reserved broth and the 5 cups of chicken broth to a 6 qt pot and set over medium high heat.
Bring to a simmer.
Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add chicken, red pepper, green beans, corn and peas. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Bring to a boil and add wide egg noodles. Cook until the pasta is tender.
If at any point there seems to be no enough liquid add more and just bring back up to a simmer.
Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and garlic. If using the option ginger or parsley add now.
Add salt and pepper to your own taste.