Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cream of Chicken Noodle Soup

There was a grand old hotel called the Hotel Utah that was built in 1909.  It was in the second Renaissance style and is on the historic register.  In the basement there was a wonderful restaurant that was quite upscale for the area at the time.  We used to go there with our toddler and eat lunch every few weeks.  Our favorite starter was a delicious, creamy chicken noodle soup.  While we waited for our starters, my husband would take our daughter to look at the fish in the giant carved marble fish pond on the floor against the far wall. 

The hotel and restaurant are no longer there although the building still stands.  The fish pond has resurfaced in a local antique store.  We mourned loss of the soup much more than the hotel.  I tried for some time to replicate that wonderful soup, and I finally feel that I have come close.  Every time I make this for our family, I have wonderful memories of my little children and of times gone by in that elegant restaurant in the basement of that grand hotel.

I give you, Hotel Utah Cream of Chicken Noodle Soup.  You will note that it uses canned Cream of Chicken soup.  I use the can with the red label (you know the one I mean).  I was told by a former employee of the restaurant that this was the secret ingredient.  Now I don't usually use canned soup in my home-made soups but this is the exception, because as soon as I added it the flavor was just right. To make a quick meal, I also used a warm market rotisserie chicken.  I took the meat off and saved the carcass for broth; two meals from one chicken. Try the soup, it's wonderful, quick and filling.  Add a salad or soft, warm piece of bread and you have a meal.  Like most soups, it's even better the second day.
Hotel Utah-Style Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Makes about 2 ½ quarts

2 teaspoons of chicken soup base
3 cups of chicken soup stock
2 Tablespoons of butter or olive oil (or combination of both)
2 cups of chopped carrots
2 cups of chopped celery
¾ cup of chopped onion
2-10 oz. cans of cream of chicken soup
½ cup of whole milk or half-and-half (light cream)
3 Tablespoons of butter
3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of cooked diced chicken
4 cups of cooked noodles
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Add the carrots, celery, and onions; simmer until the vegetables are translucent.

Pour in the stock and soup base and bring to a boil. Add the canned soup and milk.
In a small sauce pan, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Stir the flour into the butter, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let the flour mixture brown. Add the roux to the Dutch oven and stir to thicken the soup. Let it come to a low boil and cook for 3 minutes more.

Add the cooked chicken and noodles. Stir well to distribute.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
This is linked to the Hearth 'n Soul blog hop and Friday Pot luck.  Check out the other contributors posts this week.

20 comments:

  1. Bonnie -- my mom was born in Tropic and then moved up North during the War (II). She talked about Hotel Utah and one time stayed there. I guess it was quite the place -- well, the restored place is too. Both of your soups are on my "to do" list. I laughed because my favorite tomato basil (which we are having tonight -- waiting for husband to come home -- uses a "red label" soup as the main ingredient and I love it. I am sure I will love this too. Thanks, Joni

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  2. I usually forget to make a creamy chicken soup, but this will help me to remember to give it a try, thanks.

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  3. What a whirl of memories- the basement of the Hotel Utah. What a grand old place that was. Do you remember the silver sets they used there? I was in on some conferences when I was in High School or Jr. High and can still recall my eyes bugging out of my head with all the silver everywhere.

    Can't wait to give this soup a try. I trust you completely.

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  4. This sounds like a cozy and comforting bowl of soup, thanks for linking the recipe to the Hearth and Soul hop. Isn't it funny how we'd take the food we remember over the place? Every once in a while as a kid, we ate at a resto called Cyranos, which was located at the base of a ski slope and had outdoor dining. I'd always get an Egg Cryano which was their version of eggs benedict, with crab in the mix. The restaurant was great, but I'd still rather have Egg Cyrano!

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  5. Oh now that is comfort food. It looks so delicious. I linked up a recipe to the Hearth 'n Soul too - Homemade Applesauce. Glad that I found your recipe.

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  6. That looks like a very comforting soup - love those foods that evoke such powerful memories for us.
    Sue

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  7. so many soups on hearth and soul this week. I want to try them all. But soup is so personal. I would never be able to record a soup recipe because it is different every time. What ever is around goes in it! I would like to expand my horizons though and try a few "purpose built" soup recipes. I love your story of the hotel. A little bit of food history saved!

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  8. Oh, this is fabulous! I'd say grand, even! Another gorgeous bowl of soup to try...thanks for sharing it with the hearth and soul hop this week :D

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  9. This looks like one of those wonderful comfort soups, it looks so good.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  10. Your soup sounds delicious - and your story reminds me of a restaurant my Mom and I used to go to when I was a kid that made lovely soups (and ice cream sodas, but that's another story!).

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  11. Ohhhh, I love creamy vegetable soups!

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  12. Looks delicious. Unfortunately, I like cream of anything.

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  13. I adore chicken noodle soup! Thanks for sharing this with us at the hearth and soul hop!

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  14. Sounds like a winner and right up my alley...cream of anything is yum!Your soups are taking up a lot of space on my "list."

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  15. What a great comforting noodle soup!

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  16. Hi bon bon! the picture of your cottage is so adorable! Lucky girl and your garden is just darling. Wow that hotel certainly looks amazing and I bet it is haunted! The big old one's always are! hehehe...I also love how you took the cambells and healthed it up while still keeping the soup authentic to the restaurant recipe. I just did that with my husband's favorite casserole! Thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop this week. Alex@amoderatelife

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  17. Mmmm, looks perfect for a chilly evening :-)

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  19. I love creamy soups! My husband has been craving chicken noodle the last few days, so I may have to give this a try in the coming week! Thanks for joining Friday Potluck this week and I hope you'll be back in coming weeks!

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  20. This goes on my list of recipes to try. When I was first married I lived in SL, and worked two blocks away from the Hotel Utah. I ate lunch many times at the soup counter in the basement. Loved the rolls that came with the soup too!

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