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Tangy Chicken Soup

One of the things I love about cooking is that sometimes you have to improvise … and sometimes it results in a great new recipe. Last week, I made this chicken soup while visiting my mother.  During the summer, she lives on Wolf Lake, in the Catskill mountains. Her spice cabinet is scantily stocked. And, though there are plenty of farm stands with fresh produce along the rural roads that weave throughout the Catskills, in traditional grocery stores supplies are somewhat limited. I finally gave up my search for saffron after three unsuccessful attempts. (Can you believe I actually tried to buy saffron in a grocery store?)

John and I had spent the day at Storm King Mountain, which I highly recommend if you are anywhere near upstate New York. The outdoor museum sits on 500 acres of rolling hills in the Hudson Highlands. On display are American and European modern sculptures by David Smith, Alex Calder, Henry Moore, and many others. The sculptures are absolutely fabulous. The leaves were just starting to turn to soft yellows and vibrant reds, so the backdrop was equally spectacular.

We returned from our outing late, so I made the soup while we started cocktails (at the lake, cocktails are a daily ritual!). Fortunately, my mother had already done most of the work (ie made the stock, and picked the chicken meat off the bones). When the soup was ready, I sat down to rave reviews all around.

My mother went into the kitchen to ladel up refills. All alone in the kitchen, she started to laugh. “What’s so funny?” I asked from the table. “You forgot to add the chicken.” she replied from the kitchen. So, we had vegetable soup for a 1st course, and chicken soup as a second course. Both were outstanding.

Tangy Chicken Soup
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 1 celery stick, minced
  • 2 small parsnips, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup broken egg noodles
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of one lemon.
  • 1-2 cups shredded chicken (already cooked).
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Saute the onion, carrots, celery, and parsnips in olive oil and butter for 5 minutes
  2. Add chicken stock and heat till boiling
  3. Add egg noodles and cook over medium heat until noodles are just tender (8 minutes)
  4. Add lemon juice, cilantro, and CHICKEN, and cook for 5 more minutes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve

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