Tag Archives: chicken noodle soup

Nothing Fancy Chicken Soup

Cold season is upon us…again.  Everywhere you turn someone is sneezing and sniffing and hacking.  There’s ice on my windshield and my toes are perpetually cold.  You all know by now what this means.  Soup, soup and  more soup!

Normally I play fast and loose with my soup recipes, getting creative, adding pesto or orzo or this and that.  But when I have a cold, sometimes what I really want is just simple, no frills, nothing fancy chicken soup.  I can practically make this in my sleep (or cold-medicine induced brain fog).  It’s warm, tasty and oh so satisfying.  It also freezes well if you want to make a double batch so you’re prepared for the next go ’round.

I normally use leftover chicken (or turkey) or rotisserie chicken from the store, or you can cook up a couple of chicken breasts or thighs.  Whatever you have on hand will work fine.

Wow, I feel better already!

Wow, I feel better already!

Nothing Fancy Chicken Soup

1 cup onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4-5 carrots, sliced thinly
8 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
1 cup green beans (fresh or frozen)
1 cup dry noodles (I used rotini but any smallish shape will work)
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Salt & pepper

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Saute onion and celery for 2-3 minutes.  Add carrot and cook another couple of minutes.  Add chicken broth and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add chicken and green beans.  Bring to a boil again.  Add pasta and stir.  Turn down to medium and simmer another 15 minutes or so, until pasta is tender.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  For added richness, I like to add about 1/2 cup of heavy cream at the end but if you’re watching the calories (or you don’t do dairy), feel free to leave it out.  It’s delicious either way!

If you want to get a tiny bit fancy with it, or you just want an excuse to eat a whole loaf of bread by yourself, serve it in a bread bowl!

There's soup in there somewhere, soaking into my yummy bread.

There’s soup in there somewhere, soaking into my yummy bread.

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The Cure For What Ails You

Rough day?  Head Cold?  Bad mood?  Bad weather?  Obviously, you need some chicken soup.  According to my grandma and old wives everywhere, it will cure what ails you.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that when I’m not feeling well, or when it’s rainy outside I like to eat chicken soup and it makes me feel better. Of course, it’s also pretty tasty when you’re feeling just fine.

I usually start with a pretty basic chicken soup recipe, and then I tend to play with it.  Sometimes I go a little Italian, with tomatoes and herbs, sometimes it’s more of a Thai theme, with coconut milk and chiles.  For today, I wanted simple, but rich and creamy.  And that’s just what I got.

Creamy Pesto Chicken Noodle Soup

Creamy Pesto Chicken Noodle Soup

2 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced or chopped carrots
6-8 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 oz. small shaped pasta, like shells
1/3 cup basil pesto
3/4 cup heavy cream

Combine chicken broth, chicken breasts, onion, celery, bay leaf and carrots in a soup pot and bring to a boil.   Reduce heat to a barely boil and cook for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender.  Remove chicken and let it cool a bit, then shred by pulling it apart with two forks.  Add salt & pepper and shredded chicken to pot and bring soup back to a boil.  Add pasta.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in pesto and cream and cook another 5-10 minutes until pasta is tender.  Taste for seasoning; adjust salt & pepper if needed.  Makes 6-8 servings.

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