Yeah, I watch Food Network and everybody makes soup the same way, start with diced onions, carrots & celery sauted... Nope. Not me. THIS is the way Grandma taught me and it's a heck of a lot easier.
1 LARGE stock pot
1 whole chicken, rinsed
1 stock celery with tops
1 yellow onion WHOLE - loose outer skin ONLY removed (leaving the skin on gives color)
2 tbsp chicken soup base
2 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste (don't adjust seasonings until the end)
Throw all that in the pot, fill with water (How much water is completely irrelevant. If the chicken is really small, just add a bit more soup base) and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 2-3 hours. Remove onion, celery, carrot and bay leaves. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. When cooled, pick chicken from bones and add as much as you want back to the soup.
Note: at this point you have several options.
- Fill ice cube trays with broth and freeze - put in plastic bags. Each cube should be about 2 tablespoons of broth for recipes.
- let chill and remove the hard layer of fat on top for "fat free" soup (really? That's where all the flavor is!)
- don't cook your noodles in the soup until just before you serve it. They will soak up the broth and get mushy.