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Flay Makes Soup For Your Sniffles

With the damp, chill of the autumn months comes the season of sneezes and sniffles. Homemade chicken soup always seems to make us feel better, yet few people beside Grandma ever bother to make it at home.

The next time you reach for a little chicken soup to warm your soul, The Early Show's resident Chef Bobby Flay wants you to make it from scratch.

Flay shows us how to make a flavorful chicken stock base and uses it for three different types of chicken soup: Italian Style, Thai Style, and Chicken Noodle Soup.

The Recipes

Home-Made Chicken Soup Three Ways
Serves: 4


Chicken Stock
1 whole (3-4 pound) chicken, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
1 large onion, coarsely chopped, skin left on
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery stocks, coarsely chopped
Several sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
4 quarts cold water


  • Place ingredients in a medium stockpot and bring just to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the stock until the chicken is cooked through and the meat falls off the bone, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Strain, pressing on the vegetables and meat to extract as much juice as possible, put the stock into a container, refrigerate until cold then skim any hardened fat from the surface. Remove the chicken to a plate and remove the skin and bones. Shred or chop the chicken and store in a separate container.

Italian Style Chicken Soup
Serves: 4


8 cups home-made chicken stock
1/2 pound cheese tortellini
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 pound flat leaf spinach, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly grated parmesan cheese


  • Place stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken and spinach and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese and parsley.
  • The Italian Style Chicken Soup has chicken, flat leaf spinach, flat leaf parsley, pepper and grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Thai Style Chicken Soup
Serves: 4

8 cups home-made chicken stock
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 lemongrass stalk
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup cooked chicken
Salt to taste
1/2 pound rice vermicelli, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  • Place stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the ginger, garlic, jalapeno, lemongrass and coconut milk and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Divide the vermicelli, chicken and herbs among four bowls and ladle in the hot broth. Serve immediately.
  • To the Thai Style Chicken Soup adds some popular Asian flavors: ginger, garlic, lemongrass and unsweetened coconut milk. Also to be found are chicken, cilantro, fresh mint and rice vermicelli, a very thin pasta.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves: 4


8 cups home-made chicken stock
1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked al dente
1 cup cooked chicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Place stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and add the dill and parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.

Making the Chicken Stock

To make the homemade chicken stock, Flay uses more than just carcass and bones for the base of his broth. For full-bodied chicken flavor a stock should be made using the entire chicken, meat and bones. He boils his bird with the skin on along with onions, carrots, celery, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, a bay leaf and peppercorns, until the meat falls off the bone which could take close to 90-minutes or 2 hours of cooking. To infuse even more flavor into the broth he stains the juices from the meat and all the vegetables as they're removed from the liquid.

Once the infused liquid stock is separated from the solids the soup base is done. It can then be stored in the refrigerator. The stock chills long enough for the hardened fat to form on top, the chilled fat is then easily skimmed off. The chicken pieces can be shred or chopped and used later. Unused stock can also be stored in the freezer.

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