Improved Chicken Noodle Soup

I’ve always been proud of my homemade chicken noodle soup. But something was missing. I wanted something with a velvety texture, filled with a rich broth, and just the right amount of salt and savory. The trick is a little unflavored gelatin, and mushrooms. The gelatin significantly improves the mouthfeel, giving this soup a smooth texture, while the mushrooms contribute umami, turning an ordinary bowl of soup into a culinary experience fit for a king.

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken cut into 3/4 or smaller cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced into small chunks
1/2 inch ginger root, minced
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup diced crimini mushrooms (also known as baby bellas)
3 peeled whole carrots, chopped
2 cups diced celery
1 leek, sliced into circles, and then rinsed after chopping (leeks tend to carry a LOT of dirt, so rinsing after chopping is crucial.
2 qts chicken stock (or use water and chicken meat base)
1 packet of unflavored gelatin
1 bunch of cilantro, minced
1 tsp freshly ground coarse black pepper
Homemade noodles (see below)
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place a 6 qt stockpot over high heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the unflavored gelatin to 1/2 cup cold water in a separate dish and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and fry until the exterior of the chicken starts to brown. Add onions, ginger garlic, and mushrooms and continue to fry until onions are translucent. Add celery, carrots, and leeks and cook until veggies start to sweat. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the unflavored gelatin.

Add the noodles, black pepper and salt to taste. Cook until noodles are tender.

1-2 minutes prior to serving, add the cilantro and stir well.

Homemade Whole Wheat Noodles
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 Tsp salt
1/3 cup water

Combine the salt, flour and eggs in a mixer. Mix well. Once all ingredients except water are incorporated, add water a little bit at a time until the dough ball is slightly tacky. You may end up using less water than the recipe calls for. If you add too much water, add flour, 1/4 cup at a time until the dough feels just tacky.

Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then dump onto a floured surface, roll out into a long piece, about 1/8 inch thick.

If you have a pasta roller, make the dough into 1/4 inch wide noodles, then cut into 2″ lengths before adding to the soup.

If you don’t have a pasta roller, slice the noodles by hand, taking care to maintain an even width.

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