Chicken Noodle Soup

Whole chicken (2-3 pounds)
1 small or half of a larger onion
1 rib celery or a section of base of bunch
2 Tbsp dried basil  (we use Penzey’s)
1-2 bay leaves
2 tsp. salt
½  tsp black pepper
1 onion, chopped (1/2-1 cup)
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine (about 1 Tbps)
8 oz. pasta (linguine, flat egg noodles, shells all work well)
Choice of garnish:  chopped cilantro, avocado slices, sour cream, croutons, grated parmesan

Wash chicken and place in 4-6 quart stock pot or Dutch oven.  Fill with water until just covered.  Add first quantities of celery and onion, basil, bay leaves salt and pepper.  Simmer over low heat until chicken is tender and comes off bone easily.

Remove chicken and all vegetables from broth.  You can use a large colander, catching the broth in another pot or large bowl.  You might want to let the broth cool a bit before straining.  Replace broth in stock pot or in whatever pot soup is to be made.  Bring broth up to a gentle bubble.  Place onion, celery, and garlic in broth and simmer until tender.  Remove chicken from bone, chop coarsely and add to pot.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Remove from water a minute or so before it is fully cooked.  Drain and add to soup.  Serve hot.

This is a great cook once, eat twice (or more).   If you wish to freeze, do so before adding pasta.  Soup will be better if pasta is freshly cooked each time but can also be frozen with pasta.

Variations:  Adding a garnish dresses this soup up. See above suggestions.

Add 2-4 cups baby spinach leaves.  Simmer until just wilted.
Substitute 2 cups cooked rice for pasta
Saute 2 cups sliced mushrooms in olive oil, then add to soup
Add 1 cup cooked sliced carrots or baby peas
Be creative.  Use multiple addition (i.e. spinach and mushrooms )