Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Alice Waters' Chicken Noodle Soup

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Sometimes the simplicity of a dish can be bracing. Many of the recipes I've cooked out of Alice Waters' cookbooks, with their emphasis on whole foods, simple technique, and letting the ingredients speak for themselves, just have this invigorating quality. On a snowy day like today in Chicago (it's been falling steadily most of the day), a chicken soup can hardly be beat.

This soup is good even if you don't have homemade stock on hand. To vastly improve the flavor of store-bought stock, one great trick is to simmer it with fresh vegetables. That's essentially what happens here: A bone-in chicken breast is cooked through along with carrot, celery, onion, and parsnip. It fortifies the broth so it's filled with flavor.

Waters finishes the soup with chopped fresh dill, which is how I've been doing chicken soup for a couple years now. I love its clean, sweet, almost grassy flavor.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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