Is there a use for my overcooked soup?
April 20, 2021 5:32 AM   Subscribe

I make a good chicken soup recipe about every six weeks for my daughter and freeze it in half pint jars. This time the noodles lost all structural integrity. It is not attractive.

I don't know what caused it but the noodles sort of dissolved. They were the second half of a Pennsylvania Dutch bag that I'd used in the previous batch of soup. I think I must have just cooked with the noodles a few minutes longer than usual because I can't think of anything else that happened. I've made that recipe about six times since the beginning of quarantine though and never experienced it as unforgiving.

ANYWAY, the carrots and chicken and celery are intact, it's just the noodles that fell apart. I was wondering about pureeing the broth and noodles, adding some peas and a layer of puff pastry and calling it chicken pot pie.

Or pureeing the goop, adding cream, adding peas and corn, and calling it cream of chicken soup.

In both those formats I'd manually separate the carrots and chicken and celery from the goop and then adding them back when the goop is smooth.

Would that work or is it the grossest thing ever? Any other ideas? It failed right off so I have like eight frozen jars of it. I feel guilty throwing out what I know is good food.

A caveat--almost certainly no one in my family we'll eat this. I'm the only adventurous/experimental eater in the house. I'll probably make separate dishes and freeze them, or unfreeze the soup as needed.
posted by A Terrible Llama to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
I think both your ideas sound fine and workable, I'd make/enjoy them either! Honestly I wouldn't even purée and separate, that's a lot of work, I'd just mush a bit by hand until it looked how I wanted.

Another option is to add a few very fine noodles (or crackers, some other thickeners), maybe canned or fresh mushrooms, and cook it up as a casserole. That would freeze well too.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:48 AM on April 20, 2021 [6 favorites]

I don't think it would be gross at all! Adjusting for taste (since the noodles won't have the same flavor as a roux) it would be useful in any recipe that needs a savory thickener. Hotdish/casseroles would use it up quickly (and what's the chances some of them were invented in response to something exactly like this...)
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:54 AM on April 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

I mean I'd eat any of these right now (and the fact that your "can of cream of chicken soup" is from scratch makes them much more appealing)
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:59 AM on April 20, 2021

I think either of your options is fine - when I started reading your question I immediately thought "stew" so really any option that deliberately uses the thickness of the broken down noodles should work. I also agree with SaltySalticid that I at most would pull out the chicken and puree the rest, but if you can just mush the noodles further that'd be much easier.
posted by brilliantine at 6:31 AM on April 20, 2021

I happen to have a vitamix so I would just throw everything including the chicken in there, spin it for 30 seconds, and call it a cream soup. It would be delicious and rich. YBMV.
posted by ftm at 6:38 AM on April 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

We blend our chicken soup anyway!
posted by DarlingBri at 8:14 AM on April 20, 2021

I was thinking more of just cheese-cloth the soup and eat only the soup. You can always throw fresh veggies in.
posted by kschang at 8:17 AM on April 20, 2021

Chicken pot pie. Use a colander to strain out the intact chicken and veg. Blend the rest, reduce a bit if needed. Put it all in a pie dish, cover with puff pastry, bake. You won't need to thicken it, it will thicken itself.

The pureeing option is also good, possibly adding a bit of roux or the cream if it needs to be a bit thicker.
posted by theora55 at 8:26 AM on April 20, 2021 [4 favorites]

Simmer noodles in plain broth and combine with the murky soup -- or would they still turn up their noses?

If so, use it for chicken and dumplings so the Ugly is hidden under delicious dumplings!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:33 AM on April 20, 2021

Best answer: I'd probably shred it in a food processor and pour it over couscous as sauce. (But, also, wasting food can be a reasonable choice. The sunk cost fallacy has made me cook and eat many things that aren't worth the effort.)
posted by eotvos at 9:04 AM on April 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Will anybody else in the house eat casserole? I think you could thicken with some corn starch, and then use like soup in the casserole of your choice. Any chunks left in it will disappear in the casserole. Ditto pot pie, I wouldn't even bother with blending.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:27 AM on April 20, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. The consensus seems to be along the lines of 'Not too gross. Would eat' and the referenced sunk cost fallacy gives me a reason to take a beat and ask, 'Is this actually a reasonable thing to do?'

They're packed in half -pint jars so I can do small lunch time experiments and if the first one or two efforts don't work out, I'll let it go.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:11 AM on April 21, 2021

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