Cooler weather means the onset of comfort food and what is more comforting than a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup? But this soup, adapted from Cuisine At Home isn’t your ordinary chicken noodle soup. Made with a French twist, it is a sophisticated version of the soup I grew up on. Enhanced with brandy and apple cider, the broth is flavorful without being overpowering. Mellow flavored leeks replace the traditional onions with tarragon being the herb of choice. And of course you mustn’t forget the bacon. The vegetables are sautéed in bacon drippings and the entire bowl is topped with a sprinkling of crisp bacon. What’s not to like?
Serve the soup with warm buttermilk biscuits (which you can make while the soup is simmering) and you have a comforting dinner that will warm you inside and out.
FRENCH CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
6 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 strips bacon, diced
2 cups sliced leeks
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brandy
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 bay leaves
6 ounces dried egg noodles
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
- Place the broth and chicken breasts in a large pot set over medium-high heat. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool. Reserve the broth.
- When the chicken has cooled, use two forks to shred the meat into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- Add the bacon to a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crisp.
- Use a slotted spoon to drain the bacon onto a paper towel lined plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks, carrots, celery and garlic to the bacon drippings. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and add the brandy to the vegetables, stirring to loosen any cooked on pieces. Cook until the brandy has evaporated.
- Stir in the Dijon mustard then add in the reserved broth, the apple cider and the bay leaves.
- Bring the soup to a boil over high heat.
- Stir in the noodles, the diced apple and the shredded chicken. Cook until the noodles are tender.
- Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and tarragon and season with the salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately topped with the crumbled bacon.