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We are fully in soup season, and Ina Garten agrees. The Barefoot Contessa has been on a social media blitz, sharing her favorite soup recipes now that we’re in deep mid-winter, and they couldn’t come at a better time. Ina Garten has so many soup and stew recipes that it’s hard to choose our favorites, but whether it’s the Italian wedding soup Jennifer Garner swears by or her rich tomato soup, you know that when you make a Barefoot Contessa recipe it’s going to be a hit. So when we saw that she had shared her chicken ramen noodle soup from the cookbook Go-To Dinners, we knew it would be the perfect antidote to the cold weather outside.
This isn’t your average chicken ramen noodle soup. For one, Garten doesn’t use the seasoning packet included in the noodles — you can save it for something else (snack mix? popcorn?). And unlike the cup-o-noodles you might have grown up with, this soup is chock full of fresh, not freeze dried, veggies, like carrots, onion, baby bok choy, and scallions.
Garten also builds flavor from the ground up. She roasts bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts in the oven, then removes the meat from the bone, and uses that flavorful, juicy chicken in the soup.
She sautés the veggies and aromatics in heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven (we like this affordable option from Lodge), adds stock, seasonings, the chicken, noodles, and bok choy, and voila — the best chicken ramen you can make on a weeknight.
Garten did have one piece of advice for aspiring chefs. In response to a fan’s comment on Instagram, Garten shared, “the two key ingredients to great chicken soup are homemade chicken stock and kosher salt…They make a huge difference in the flavor.” Store-bought chicken stock and broth doesn’t have the same rich flavor and silky body of homemade stock, thanks to a lower protein content and a near absence of the gelatin and collagen that adds so much to homemade stock. And using the right amount of salt will make the flavors in your homemade stock and soup come to life.
Make and freeze a big batch of chicken stock, and you’ll be able to make recipes like this one any weeknight. It’s so much better tasting than a plain packet of ramen with its seasoning packet, and it’s better for you, too.
Before you go, check out our gallery:
Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet
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