Last weekend, before the big snowstorm, I wanted to make a big pot of chicken soup to tide us over, but I didn't have the time. Instead, I tried this shortcut method, which worked out great. We ate it all weekend, with saltine crackers and challah.
Quick & Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup
2 quarts chicken broth plus 1 quart water
1 store-bought roast chicken
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, cut into medium dice
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds or half rounds, depending on size
2 large celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves—I used an herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, so I didn't need additional thyme.
3 cups egg noodles—Cooked or dry? I cooked wide noodles separately.
1 cup (5 ounces) frozen green peas—Peas in chicken soup? I don't think so.
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley—I didn't bother with this either.
Salt and ground black pepper—Unnecessary, because the rotisserie chicken was already so highly seasoned.
Bring broth and water to a simmer over medium-high heat in a large pot. Meanwhile, pick all the chicken meat off the bones and skin and set aside. Add the bones and skin to the simmering broth. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until the bones release their flavor, 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the broth into another big pot; reserve the broth and discard the bones and skin. (From force of habit of making pasta all the time, I almost dumped the broth right through my colander and down the drain! Remember, in this case you want the liquid, not the solids!)
Return the empty pot to a burner set on medium-high. Add the oil, then the onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme, chicken meat and broth and bring to a simmer. (I poured the broth through a fine sieve this time to strain out all the little bits of extraneous stuff.)
Add the noodles; simmer until all ingredients are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in peas and parsley and adjust seasoning, including salt and pepper to taste. Serve.