bits and pieces

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yummy Feel Better Chicken Noodle Soup

eat your soup sick boy!
Chicken noodle soup is one of THE ultimate comfort foods.

The first taste of chicken stock I had as a 'vegetarian' came in second year university when I was sick with the plague and discovered a box of Lipton's chicken noodle soup in my cupboard. It was likely at least 2 years old.  This neon yellow salt-fest was somehow the only thing I could keep down, so I hid it in the back of the cupboard and furtively ate it, still outwardly maintaining real vegetarian status. Even now if I have the flu I crave Lipton's chicken noodle soup. Salty, noodley, hot and yummy.
I have a sad sick boy at home, lying on the couch and being miserable. Yesterday morning before work I decided he probably wasn't going to be cooking himself lunch (rare even when healthy), nor was he going to be leaving the house for food. " I'm not hungry!" he claimed, but I knew come lunch time - everyone is hungry. So being the wonderful compassionate enabler that I am, I made soup before going to work and left it for him. It did get eaten - sort of. Somehow he managed to burn the noodles to the bottom of the pan (miraculous). I set out to make a Lipton's-esque soup, which is not my usual process. It is salty, warm, has a moderate amount of vegetables, and lots of comforting goodness.

Note: this isn't 100% from scratch - I do have homemade chicken stock at home, but it was frozen solid the morning in question so I cheated and used my chicken bullion. Shame on me, but whatever, it was good and it got eaten/burned.

Update: I remade this yesterday (May 8) for sickboy  and I added some actual chicken.. I seasoned them with salt and pepper + a good amount of garlic powder + thyme. I pan fried them for a couple minutes, 2-3 per side and then just diced them and tossed them in the soup when I threw the pasta in. Add 1 cooked + diced chicken breast to the recipe below if you'd like to add a little more protein.

1 carrot, chopped in half lengthwise and then finely diced.
1 stick of celery, again - chopped in half lengthwise and finely finely diced
half an onion, diced
1 green onion, finely sliced
1 big splash of olive oil
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water, with 1.5 tsp Old Bay Seasoning mixed in (if you have it). If you're not an Old Bayer - just add a sprinkle of garlic powder, cayenne, and some cajun seasoning or something fun. Or alternately just skip this an add another cup of chicken stock.
3/4 cup noodles - egg noodles, orzo, stars (what I used but it at least doubled in size and became more of a soupy pasta by the end of the day), ditalini, ziti, fusili, gemelli, whatever!
black pepper
1/2 tsp parsley/dill/thyme/italian seasoning (if you have it), for garnish

other things you will need:
pot for your soup
person to eat soup
  1. Put your stock on to boil.
  2. Prep your vegetables while your stock is heating up. Once it has reached a boil, add your veggies (carrots, onion, scallions, celery), and simmer for 5 minutes. Update: I added a couple dashes of turmeric for colour and healthiness! Yum yum turmeric. 
  3. Add your pasta and simmer for 8 - 10 minutes. Add the splash of olive oil.
  4. Slowly add your water-Old Bay mix to taste. The Old Bay adds a little zip and zest to your standard chicken noodle soup. Feel free to add more if you can stand the sodium. Alternately, thin with water if it's too salty for your tastebuds.
  5. Bring to a simmer and add a few shakes of black pepper, and your parsley. Enjoy it with some crusty baguette or saltines.
  6. Do not burn onto your pot.

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