By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern
Ever since I can remember, my mother Melinda Hunt and grandmother LaDonna Gammill have been making our family’s chicken noodle soup recipe. On mildly cold winter nights at home in Arizona to summer road trips to visit Grandma in rural southern Utah, the famous chicken noodle soup has always been a favorite meal for kids and parents alike.
This recipe has been passed down through five generations of my family. It started with Alta Curtis Hunt, who was born in 1885. Alta is LaDonna Gammill’s grandmother. Alta and her husband Charles Hunt were sheepherders on their ranch in the Henry Mountains of southern Utah.
The Hunt family of 11 children would travel from their home in Caineville to Muddy Ranch to tend the flock. Alta would ride ahead on horseback and at the halfway point, she would leave lunch on a red gingham tablecloth on the roadside for the children traveling with their father in the wagon behind her.
My great-grandma, Ruby Hunt, was in the wagon and would get so excited to see it, because she missed her mom already and knew they were getting close to the ranch when they found the lunch.
Once they arrived at the ranch, they would only stay until the barrel of water they brought ran out. Ruby missed home so much that she would make frequent trips to get water, then take a small sip with a ladle and dump the rest of the water out so they could get home quicker.
We laugh at those stories and remember them every time we make the soup. We don’t have a story specifically about when Alta made the soup for her family, but the stories of their family’s life on the ranch remind us of the importance of food and family, and how it has stayed hand-in-hand for generations.
To make this timeless recipe even better, use the Fill Your Plate’s Farm Product search feature, where one can easily find and purchase chicken, eggs, carrots, and celery from local farmers and include these ingredients in the recipe for a more authentic and fresh taste.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
By Alta Curtis Hunt
Makes 8 servings
2 quarts of water
3 tablespoons of chicken bullion
2 large chicken breast (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 cup of chopped celery
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 beaten eggs
1/3 cup of water
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of baking powder
What to do:
Put all broth ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken and dice. Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and mix. Spread mixture onto countertop in a mound and make a well. Mix eggs, water, and oil in a separate cup, then add to well in flour mixture. Mix with a fork and hands. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Roll out and cut dough into thin strips. (A Kitchen-Aid pasta attachment can also be used to make finer, more even noodles and increase the amount of noodles made.) Add to boiling broth. Add diced chicken. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!