Pennsylvania Chicken Soup (Waste Not, Want Not)

Couple of weeks ago I cooked roast chicken for Sunday dinner.  I had found about a 5 pound bird for $4.51 and was happy because I would get a couple of meals and soup out of it.  Every week I make soup out of something because I grew up eating home made soup once a week for supper.  Sometimes it was made in the middle of the week from left over meat or it was made on Saturday from bought soup bones.  The reason for soup on Saturday was because it was house cleaning day. That made it easy because the soup bones was put on to simmer around noon and left to simmer most of the afternoon.  Then late in the afternoon, the rest of the ingredients was added to finish off making the soup.  We ate it when all the chores was done.

If there was soup during the week it was usually a soup that was made from the a bone from Sunday’s dinner like bean, split pea or chicken soup.  The broth from Sunday’s dinner was made Sunday evening from the pork or ham bone. With chicken soup, the broth was made as soon as the meat was cut from the chicken.  The chicken carcass was put right back into the roasting pan that it had just come out of and covered with water.  The lid put back on the roasting pan and left to simmer on top of the stove for a couple of hours to make chicken broth.  When the broth was cooled enough to handle, the bones and broth was strained through a calender.  After that the colander with the bones and strained broth was left to finish cooling.  Once it cooled down you could pick through the colander for the bits of left over meat that was then put back into the broth and the broth placed into the refrigerator.  The soup was then made a couple of days later with noodles and a few vegetables.

Home made soup is a wonderful way of stretching the food budget.  Also it is a way to use up leftovers like meat and vegetables in a meal that doesn’t look like leftovers.  Today with our wonderful refrigerators, we can freeze extra broth and leftovers for soup.  I keep a freezer bag that I put cooked vegetables that are left over in small amounts after a meal. It is usually just a spoonful or two. Really not enough to save to reheat.  I just collect all those little dabs of veggies in that freezer bag and in a couple of weeks I have enough for soup.  Other foods that I put in the leftover freezer bag can be the one slice of tomato no one ate or the extra chopped celery or onion that you over chopped for a recipe.  I refuse to waste the tops of the celery stocks so I will cut them up with the leaves into that bag.  If a recipe calls for less canned tomatoes then what was in the can, I just dump the excess canned tomatoes right into the bag.  Left over cooked rice is also a good addition to the freezer bag.  Sometimes the bag is blessed with leftover small pieces of meat or gravy after a meal.  In that case all that will be needed to make soup is some bouillon cubes and you have a meal when the cupboard is bare.

The recipe I am going to share with you is a basic chicken soup using a chicken breasts.  You can make it the same way with other parts of the chicken or with home made stock with leftover roast chicken meat just like I described earlier in this diary.  The other feature of this soup is that you put 2 cups of soup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Then it is added back to the soup to make it creamy and thick.  I usually don’t do that to my soup unless I want more of a chowder like soup.

Pennsylvania Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large chicken breast, skinned (about 1/2 lb.)
  • 4 oz. noodles, narrow, wide or Dutch
  • 1 cup corn frozen or canned
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Stir in the celery, carrot and onion; coat with butter.  Add the chicken.  Cook over medium low hear, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.  Turn several times.  Remove chicken. Cut into small cubes.  Set aside.  Add the chicken broth to the saucepan.  Bring to a rapid boil.  Add the noodles and corn. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes until noodles are just done.  Remove 2 cups of the soup and blend until smooth. Return mixture to soup.  Add the chicken.  Heat for a minute or two.  Season with pepper.  Add salt, if needed.  Serve steaming hot in large, wide bowls.  Makes 4 servings.

I know it is hot out there right now and soup just seems yummier in the cooler weather.  I like to take my soup out side in the shade and eat it with a sandwich and jello.  We don’t get winter weather here in South Florida.

I hope the tips I gave you on saving leftover veggies will give a helping hand with soup making so you are covered when you are out of money and out of ideas

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Sheryl says:

    It looks wonderful I’ll have to try it soon. My family always called a similar soup Chicken Corn Soup.


  2. trkingmomoe says:

    It is a favorite. I had it written on one of my recipe cards, so I must of gotten from one of my aunts. My Aunt Mary was a year or two younger then your grandmother. She was the family’s soup maker and she would make me write down what she was doing when I was a kid. She taught me how to make noodles. As far as she was concerned, all leftovers was fair game for soup even salad. I loved the way she would say “you’nez” when she was talking to me. My mother was 18 years younger then her. She didn’t use that term my dad did once in a while. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.


  3. dikkday says:

    I was attempting to add a couple thoughts to cooking in general at your blog!

    Here it is:

    I was just thinking of this.

    Im sorry it wont let me do

    I try to cook certain things and then I find out per the food channel and the diet blogs that I was not that far off.

    Now I decided from looking at certain nutrition blogs, that broccoli was something I should eat—along with carrots and onions and other vegetables.

    So I started a few months ago to purchase broccoli.

    The problem with broccoli is that the stems are wooden.

    Well, why throw away food?

    So I came upon a theory and attempted to put it into practice.

    I cut away the stalks of broccoli.

    Then I put them in boiling water with carrots (that seem to take forever to cook). I forgot, I throw in some garlic salt.

    I let both veggies simmer for an hour.

    At the last minute I throw in the ‘crowns’ of the broccoli and let them simmer for no more than five or six minutes.

    Then I take the entire mess out of the water with a spoon with holes in it and place it into a bowl.

    I wait a few minutes and then attempt to rid the bowl of the water that drained from the veggies.

    I then cut about ¾ of an ounce of cheese (this is the naughtiness as they say) and put it on the veggies and then microwave about 45 seconds. I check out what I have left and I might microwave another 30 seconds.

    So I am watching GOOD EATS on the food channel (which is fun and I make fun of what he does on that show before he decided to work out as they say) and he affirmed some of my activities and dissed others.

    What he does is put a small amount of broccoli stalks (and you see he could just as easily dropped in a couple of carrots—broken up like I do) into a pan with a small amount of water. Then he lets the stalks boil and then simmer for awhile.

    At the last minute he puts in the ‘crowns’ of the broccoli. He then lets them steam with a cover on the pan for six minutes.

    Then he removes the veggies into a bowl.

    Now I watched the same type of coooking on the Deen show.

    And Mrs. Deen adds 8 ounces of cheese and god knows how many other oils and salts and such to this mixture and creates a fat man’s express. For no apparent reason.

    Anyway, I take the mixture and add ¾ ounces of cheese and put it in the bowl and microwave it.

    This is what I learned.

    Microwaving can extract a number of nutrients. That is what GOOD EATS just told me. Now, if one and a quarter minutes of microwaving dilutes my precious bodily fluids…what do I know?

    But basically I was doing what GOOD EATS says to do.

    So now I just take my mixture and put it in the oven, preheated at 400 degrees for about a minute and the cheese melts.

    Now I can add a little salt (old men are supposed to be afraid of salt) and pepper and chili power—who cares. I mean change the menu every day.

    But GOOD EATS simply informed me that I was not that screwed up.

    And GOOD EATS rightly implied that raw broccoli with raw carrots and radishes or whatever are not that good for you if you require a dipping of the glorious life giving veggies into fat based dipping sauce.

    I am not right!

    But I know Deen is wrong.

    I only write this to tell you that I love affirmations.

    And GOOD EATS just affirmed that I have not been that wrong.

    Oh good it worked!

    It just takes a few secs.

    Anyway, cooking for sustenance depends upon whom you are cooking for.

    And I need less salt, less fat, less calories….than cooking for oneself and children!

    I am going to get into this more on this blog hopefully.

    I do know this:

    Growing children (especially boys) need hundreds and hundreds of calories everyday unless they are sitting around playing computer games and MOM (the person in charge of providing those calories) already knows this.

    Anyway I like this blog a lot!


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      There is always nutrients loss when you cook vegetables. You don’t want to put broccoli in the microwave because it turns rubbery.

      Here is a dipping sauce that you might like for fresh veggies. Take fat free plain yogert and sugar free raspberry jelly, in equal parts and mix together. You can use less jelly if you want for taste. You can also use fat free sour cream too. I used to make it with sour cream and seedless raspberry jelly for party dip. It was always used up by the time the party was over. Smuckers has sugar free seedless raspberry jelly. It is a wonderful sweet and sour taste.

      When you are using broccoli or other raw veggies to dip with, blanch them in salted boiling water for 60-90 seconds and drain in a colander. You will have brightly green crisp cooked broccoli that is great for dipping into a low-cal dip. I think they actually taste better blanched because it stops the emzyne action in the veggies. Sugar peas that are in the market right now is great blanched for dipping. It is a good snack when you are watching you diet.

      Why don’t you try making a little cheese sauce in your microwave to pour over your broccoli that way you don’t have to heat your oven. Just grate the amount of cheese you are using into a microwavable bowl and add a couple of tablspoons of milk and heat for 15 sec. then stir and repeat until melted.

      Take one of those tin foil pie pans you save and turn it upside down in a sauce pot or a skillet that has a tight lid. Punch some holes in it if it don’t already have holes add water up to the top of the pie plate. Salt the water and add your broccoli stems and carrots on top so they do not sit in the water. Bring to a boil then put the lid on and turn down to simmer. Check after 15 min. to see if you need to add a little water. Steam for about 30 min at the longest. They should be done by then. If not, you need to, the next time to cut them smaller. You don’t want to cook the outside to death trying to cook the middle because they lose too many nutrients in the cooking process. Smaller pieces and shorter timing is better.

      When your ship comes in July, treat yourself to a steamer basket. They have a center handle, and are round with holes and the sides fold out like petals. They are not expensive. You can find them at a dollar store if you have one of those stores in your little town. Walmart and Target has them in the utensils section.

      I like Paula Dean because she is a wonderful regional cook. That don’t mean I fry everything in butter and cook with lots of butter and cream. I have a few of her recipes that I make. I don’t have cable anymore so I just look at her cook books at the library. I have Alton Brown’s boxing puppet but his recipes are too complicated and over thought for me. I would be exhausted if I cooked like him, though I could use a set of flames on the sides of my kitchen aid mixer.

      These were just a few suggestions. I thought you would get a chuckle out of the recipe for just 2 blueberry muffins.


  4. larrytheh says:

    Thanks Momoe for your invitation to share some of my thoughts on vegetable based soup stock. Most of what I have to say is my own experience but for the recipe for stock itself I am using the ideas expressed in the cookbook “Vegetarian Planet” by Didi Emmons. I have used about 30 of the 350 recipes and found them to be very accurate and very enjoyable. I recommend the book especially for its soups and salads.

    I make a lot of vegetarian soups. Their bulk comes from the use of beans, barley, lentils or rice. The flavor however comes from the stocks and the herbs. I have found that a good vegetable stock is actually tastier than a meat based one. The flavors are more subtle and less “heavy” than even a chicken stock. I reserve the use of meat stocks for dishes where the dominate flavor is from a single herb or spice – like a goulash (paprika) – or singular flavor – like a pilaf (onion). As a result I have found that a lot of the richness in flavor for these vegetable soups comes from the stock itself and that is what this stock recipe is all about.

    For 4 quarts of stock:

    A. 6 carrots – chopped
    4 medium onions- chopped
    8 stalks of celery- chopped
    4 tomatoes- quartered
    2 potatoes. – chopped

    Saute for about 15 minutes in about 2 tbls of oil. The idea is to caramelize the vegetables to bring out their flavor.


    B. 1 head of garlic – peeled and halved
    1 bunch of parsely
    1 tsp of peppercorns
    3 bay leaves
    4 ½ quarts of water

    Bring to a boil and simmer for 35 minutes.


    C. 1 cup white wine

    Simmer another 10 minutes

    Store in refrigerator ( 1 week ) or freeze.

    In the A. group of vegetables you can experiment with adding almost any other vegetables excepting endive and radicchio and remember to peel any waxed vegetable like eggplant. Personally I find the tomato, potato and onion essential and the rest open to substitution. In the B. group of herbs you can add/substitute anything you like but be careful about the stronger herbs like rosemary or tarragon. Finally the wine is important. I use very inexpensive wine – under $5.00 a fifth. It should be drinkable but beyond that flavor is not so important. I use fruitier wines like Chardonnays. The drier wines like Rieslings seem a little strong to my taste. It doesn’t add much to the cost but boosts the richness of the flavor significantly. And it also has the charm that it keeps the cook happy.

    The total cost for this stock should easily come in at under $15.00 and produce stock for at least 4 large soups. Here is a recipe for one soup that I think will demonstrate the quality of this stock.

    Black Bean Soup with Onions and Red Peppers

    A. 1 tbs. olive oil
    2 medium red peppers – chopped fine
    1 onion – chopped fine

    Saute the peppers and onion in the oil until the onion is golden – about 8 minutes. (Remember to heat the oil before you add the vegetables as they will absorb the oil if it is cold. Wait until you get a little sizzle when you drop a piece in the oil)

    B. 4 cloves garlic – minced
    1 tsp. ground cumin

    Cook for another minute or two.

    C. 30 oz. of black beans ( 2 15 oz. cans or equivalent cooked f dry beans)
    3 cups stock

    Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes

    D. 2 tbs. Balsamic vinegar
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Simmer for another few minutes or longer if you like. The longer cooking blends the flavors.

    Thanks again Momoe for your invitation and I hope you enjoy these recipies.


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. This is great. With. The high cost of meat, the black bean soup would make a good meatless meal. Here in Florida black bean soup is comfort food. Many Latino families have their own special way of making black bean soup. I am going to make a pot of stock from your recipes.


      1. larrytheh says:

        Your welcome.

        There is an error in the bean soup recipe. It is 2 onions and one red pepper. I can’t edit the original comment but if you can delete it I will resubmit it with the correction.


    2. larrytheh says:


      The bean soup recipe should read 2 onions and one red pepper.


      1. trkingmomoe says:

        Why don’t you make the black bean soup a blog of it’s own. It is a wonderful recipe. That way it is not buried in the comments. One of the food blogs I follow on WordPress just did a post on using vegetable peelings for stock. I will link late tonight when I get my turn on the internet. I have to finish my edit on chili history before I copy it to paradigm. I still have to.figure out how to do a menu of the blogs so followers can find things easier. Thanks Janet( momoe)


  5. Tatjana Ostojic says:

    As a great lover of Rocky, Philadelphia, and everything that follows it, I will surely try this one as well 🙂 Love the idea of using the leftovers since I really dislike wasting food. Loved the idea of adding corn as well. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It has been a long time since I read through these comments. This was when I first started being serious about food blogging. I wanted to be a thrifty recipe blog and for the most part it has been for the last five years.

      Thank you for stopping and reading this recipe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tatjana Ostojic says:

        Pleasure is all mine. I’m very happy I came across your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

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