Saturday, January 26, 2013

Easy Home Cooking - Chicken Noodle Soup

Earlier this week, Lily came down with a terrible cold.  She had the runny nose, scratchy throat, cough, the whole nine yards.  I wanted to make her some chicken noodle soup, but most recipes call for boiling and breaking down a whole chicken for the meat and stock.  No thanks.  First of all, I didn't have a whole chicken and second of all, I'm not good at seeing food in it's 'whole' form.  The only thing I had on hand was some boneless skinless chicken breast, so I was going to have to improvise.

The first thing I did was rub some olive oil on three chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs) and sprinkle both sides of each with salt and pepper.  Then I roasted them in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes (side note - the chicken was still sort of frozen in the middle before it went in the oven so with completely thawed breasts, it would probably be closer to 30 minutes).  I let those cool completely and then diced them up in to big chunks.

Next I chopped up some carrots (about 1/3 lb of baby carrots), celery (about 4 stalks) and onion (one small to medium sized onion).

Next, I sauteed the onion, celery and carrots in olive oil until the onion turned translucent.

Then I added two quarts of chicken broth, 4 cups of water, the chopped up chicken, a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of poultry seasoning, about two teaspoons of chicken flavored Better than Bouillon seasoning (seriously, get that stuff, it's so much better than the dry cubes and granules, and it really helps a soup when you're not actually starting with homemade stock), a bay leaf and about two teaspoons of dried parsley.  (Like the minestrone recipe I posted last week, it's going to seem like a lot of liquid, but we're cooking the noodles in here, so it will work out, promise.)

I let this all simmer on low for about an hour, until the carrots and celery were tender, then added the noodles.  I had about half a bag of no yolk egg noodles and half a box of bow ties, so I just threw them both in.  Also, this makes a very noodle-y soup, so feel free to use less if you want less noodles.  As you can see, I improvise when I cook, quite a bit.  I like to use things up as much as possible to avoid waste, so if that means we have two noodle chicken soup, so be it.  Let the soup simmer until the noodles are tender, about 10-15 minutes or so.  So easy.

Oh, and see that bread type thing on the side there?  I totally made that up, because I didn't have anything bread or roll-like to serve with the soup.  I did have a few frozen pieces of pita bread, so I thawed them out, brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with parmesan cheese and oregano and baked at 400 degrees for about 5-6 minutes.  When they came out of the oven, I cut each pita bread in quarters with a pizza cutter.  It was sort of crisp and chewy at the same time and everyone clearly liked them because they were all gone when dinner was over.

This made enough for everyone to have seconds and there were leftovers to freeze, so feel free to adjust if you don't want to make as much.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

- 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided (2 T for chicken, 2 T to saute your veggies)
- 1/3 lb baby carrots (or 3-4 regular carrots), chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small to medium onion, diced
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 4 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (again, highly recommend Better than Bouillon)
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (can just add a bit of sage and thyme if you don't have this)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley

Rub chicken breast with 2 T olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for about 30-45 minutes.  Cool completely, then dice.

Heat two T olive oil over medium high heat and saute celery, onion and carrots over until translucent.

Add your chicken broth, water, chicken chunks and seasoning and simmer on low until veggies are tender, about an hour to an hour and a half.

Add your noodles and simmer until tender. (I used the equivalent of an entire 16 oz bag of egg noodles because we like a lot of noodles, you could use half of that and be fine.  If you use less noodles, I would also only use two cups of water.)

The recipe as is is also not very chunky, so if you like lots of veggie chunks, just add more.  I would say use 1/2 lb of carrots and 6 celery stalks.



  1. That looks wonderful! Pinned it so I can pull it up later.


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