Okay, so I’m fully aware it’s still summer and I’m making chicken noodle soup, but it’s like a big hug in a bowl. Who doesn’t love a comforting bowl of this steamy classic every now and then? Especially made in your own kitchen from start to finish. It’s an economical, healthy meal that serves a full dinner table of family or friends. Too many benefits to not make all year round.
Making homemade stock is irreplaceable and really quite simple. It’s great because you can control the amount of salt, ingredients (no preservatives) and you reap the benefits of the cooked chicken. The depth of flavor and richness is undeniably delicious. Try serving with my Rosemary Whole Wheat Bread or Spinach, Cranberry & Orange Salad.
If you decide not to make your own broth use a good quality, low sodium, store-bought variety (you may need to add more herbs or seasoning) and bake some chicken breasts in the oven. I added characteristic vegetables, carrots, celery and onion, but get creative if you’d like and toss in some broccoli florets, snapped green beans or peas.
Kids will also love this fresh and fit meal, especially if you let them pick out a fun shaped pasta at the store to add. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
gluten & dairy free option
• 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
• 1.25 lbs CHICKEN BREASTS, shredded (from stock – see recipe below)
• 1 medium YELLOW ONION, chopped
• 3 cloves GARLIC, minced
• 4 large CARROTS, peeled, chopped
• 2 large CELERY STALKS, with leaves, chopped
• 1 BAY LEAF
• 1-2 tbsp THYME, FRESH (or to taste)
• 1 tbsp PARSLEY, DRIED or FRESH
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
• 3 quarts CHICKEN STOCK (see recipe below)
• 10 oz WHOLE GRAIN or WHOLE WHEAT PASTA*
*Gluten-free option: Use a hearty cut GF pasta (like brown rice penne), may need to cook a shorter amount of time.
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onion, carrot, celery and sprinkle of salt and pepper; sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute or two.
2. Add thyme leaves, bay leaf, chicken and chicken stock. Cook 10-15 minutes or until heated through (cook longer if broth and cooked chicken were chilled). Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf and add pasta, cook for 7-9 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve garnish with fresh chopped parsley or thyme sprig. Serves 10-12.
VARIATION: If unable to make your own stock, substitute a good quality store bought variety for homemade and bake chicken breasts covered in oven (about 20-25 minutes or until cooked through, at 350 degrees F) and shred. Add other vegetables like green beans, peas or broccoli.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (with 12 servings): 180 calories, 3.5g fat, 25mg cholesterol, 22g carb, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 17g protein
HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK:
• 1 whole chicken, around 3.5 lbs (I bought mine precut with 4 legs and 2 breasts, but whole is fine – and if you can free range/organic for best quality)
• 4 large carrots, unpeeled, washed well
• 3 large celery stalks, cut in half
• 2 whole onions, peeled, cut in half
• 1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
• 1/4 bunch of fresh thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 t. black peppercorn (or ground black pepper)
• 1/2 t. sea salt
Place chicken in the bottom of a large soup pot sprayed with cooking spray. Top with remaining ingredients ending with thyme and bay leaves.
Pour enough water to just cover all ingredients. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 2 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Strain stock into a large bowl, set chicken aside to cool slightly. Remove skin and fat from chicken and shred the two cooked breasts for soup. May refrigerate stock for a few hours or overnight and skim any fat or residual off the top, use in above recipe, refrigerate or freeze in airtight containers.
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup