Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Not from a can chicken soup

Grandma was right.  Even science admits, though it still doesn't pinpoint precisely why; chicken soup is good for getting over a cold or illness.  Well, I'm already pretty much over mine but R requested chicken noodle soup for dinner and from scratch is the only way I can oblige her.  I have yet to find a canned soup that is okay for her.  But that's okay, chicken soup is easy and fairly quick to throw together and homemade is better for you anyway.  I actually do have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer, but this time I used a good storebought stock/broth that is on the okay list for allergens.  Most of the time, I will have the ingredients for soups on hand though we tend to run out of carrots.  Since the girls will eat a head of celery in one sitting if I let them, I buy it often and so almost always have that on hand.  Chicken - freezer.  Broth - freezer or pantry.  Onions - on hand or dried minced in a pinch.  Spices - on hand.  Butter - always on hand, are you kidding?  Ready to go.  (I'd say this is around a 30 minute meal, but of course soup only gets better the longer it simmers.)

Updated to add our favorite chicken soup seasonings, turmeric for warmth and color, and bay leaf to add those supporting notes that range from a hint of balancing bitterness (the uegenol compound)  to a round, tea-like quality.  They both make it taste rich and long simmered and we wouldn't go without them!

Another way to make this soup even more convenient is to just drop in a few frozen chicken tenders with the broth.  By the time the soup has simmered for 15 minutes, they are perfectly done and can be fished out and chopped quickly.

Fairly Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
About 4 servings

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup water
1 Qt chicken broth or stock
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
2 tbsp butter
½ cup chopped onion, or 2 tbsp dried minced onion (if using dried, add after broth)
¼-½ tsp turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
¼ tsp lemon pepper
dash tabasco
~ 1 cup bowtie or fusilli noodles (or whatever noodles you prefer. I just throw in a few handfuls)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown in a skillet in the oil just until not pink.  Set that aside while you chop and saute the veggies.  In a 2 qt saucepan, saute the carrots, celery and onions in the butter for a few minutes until they start to soften just a bit.  Add the broth, water, chicken with its juice and the seasonings.  Bring to a boil, add noodles, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until noodles and vegetables are tender.  Taste and adjust your seasonings if desired. 

The tabasco brightens up any soup, but you could add a splash of lemon or vinegar of your choice if you don't want that extra heat.  Soup is versatile too, you could add canned or fresh veggies like green beans or corn or spuds, or a hit of cream to make it a bit thicker and more rich.  It customizes well.  Soup really is good food.  ☺


Kathleen said...

This soup sounds delicious! I love the touch of tabasco at the end.

Mary said...

I know I'd thoroughly enjoy a bowl of this. I love the splash of heat at the end. My girls use to love farfalle in their soup when they were small. Some things don't change with time:-).

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Yum! There is nothing like homemade chicken noodle soup.