Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Chicken Noodle Soup
I am recovering from that oh-so-lovely early summer cold that seems to be making the rounds. I think I just made it over the peak yesterday, and now it's all downhill from here. What better way to speed along my recovery than to whip up some chicken noodle soup? Not the slaving-over-a-hot-stove-all-afternoon variety; after all, I have to make a living. This is a sort of cheater's version. And it tasted just like the "real" thing.
I know there is a lot of debate out there about stock-in-a-box vs. home made stock. Yes, home made is better. But we don't always have time for it, do we? And we're not always forward-thinking enough to make a big huge pot of it and freeze it in conveniently sized portions, are we? And really, how often do you have a chicken carcass laying around? Maybe I don't want to know.
The bottom line is, a good organic low sodium chicken stock in a box is pretty hard to beat in a pinch. Try out a few different brands until you find a reliable one. Personally, I like Imagine brand and Whole Foods' 365 brand.
The other bottom line is, this is some lovely soup that is as home made as chicken noodle can get without making the stock yourself. It is light years ahead of something out of a can. And that's what we need when we're trying to get well, isn't it?
Chicken Noodle Soup
adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 chicken breast tenders
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of rotini or other short spiral pasta
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the chicken broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast tenders and cook at a simmer (do not boil!) for 8-10 minutes, or until just cooked through. Shut off the heat and let the chicken cool in the broth for a few minutes. Remove chicken and put on a cutting board; cut into small cubes.
2. Return the broth to heat and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for about 4 minutes and then add the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is almost al dente. Stir in the cubed chicken, most of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. As soon as the pasta is al dente and chicken is warmed through, turn off the heat and serve sprinkled with remaining parsley.
Easy peasy. And good for the soul. Enjoy!