This chicken noodle soup is a far cry from those of my childhood. Several things give this version its delicious flavor. First, chicken breasts are poached in a rich, aromatic stock to form the foundation. A mix of earthy sautéed mushrooms provides an umami touch. And, finally, some dry vermouth balances the soup’s richness.
Market Note: Some grocery stores sell packages of mixed, sliced mushrooms including shiitakes, baby bellas, and oysters. This is a convenient way to buy them. If unavailable, use 4 to 6 ounces shiitakes (stems removed and mushrooms sliced) and 4 to 6 ounces baby bellas (trimmed and sliced through the stems).
Cooking Tip: When this soup is made several hours or a day ahead, the noodles sometimes
absorb more of the liquid and make the soup thicker. Thin it with some purchased chicken broth if you like.
Recipe excerpted from Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year by Betty Rosbottom, Rizzoli New York, 2016. Click here to purchase your own copy.
Add all the ingredients for the Extra-Rich Homemade Stock to a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook at a simmer until the chicken is very tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain the broth, pressing down on the vegetables to release as much juice as possible; discard the vegetables. You should get 8 cups; if not, add enough water to make that amount. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and cut into 1/2- inch cubes.
(Chicken and broth can be prepared one day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate.)
Remove 1 cup of the broth and place it along with the vermouth in a small saucepan set over high heat. Cook until the mixture has reduced by half. Set aside.
Heat the butter and oil in a large pot set over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and stir 1 minute more.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir constantly to cook the flour, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 7 cups broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the noodles and cook until tender according to package directions, (see Cooking Tip).
Stir in the diced chicken, the reduced vermouth mixture, and the half-and-half. Cook until hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Taste and season the soup with more salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle soup into bowls. If desired, garnish each serving with a rosemary sprig or chopped parsley. Pass the Parmesan cheese in a bowl for sprinkling.