Chicken noodle soup: the answer to what ails you

“What does good in bed mean to me? When I’m sick and I stay home from school propped up with lots of pillows watching TV and my mom brings me soup – that’s good in bed.” — Brooke Shields via brainyquotes

I think the success of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books may be found more in their title than in their content. Not that the content is bad, just that there is something so warm and welcoming about a bowl of chicken soup. The combination of rich warm broth, bright cheery vegetables, and plump bites of chicken are a time-tested combination. Stir in velvety soft noodles and you are all set to cure almost anything from sniffles to broken hearts.

I have been taking things a little slower than usual for the last few weeks. I haven’t been sick, exactly, I have been pregnant – still am. I wasn’t sure when I was going to reveal the bun in the oven but now seems like just as good of a time as any. The bun is baking away, due at the end of August, and for now I’m keeping busy taking care of things on the outside.

Like many newly expectant mothers, I spent the first couple of months feeling varying degrees of gross and struggling with crashing fatigue. I had to choose carefully my activities knowing at any moment I might hit the wall and be out of energy for the rest of the day. Exercise helps A LOT. In the kitchen I have been letting my blogger friends cook for me. They don’t come over, though that would be a hoot. I do the chopping and stirring while they supply the creativity and recipes.

This chicken noodle soup comes from my friend Jenny at RainyDayGal. She shares it with her family anytime they are in need of a bowl of TLC. It works – scrumptiously. I simmered all the ingredients together for a Saturday lunch and it perked up the whole family. My woozy stomach was eased by the starchy noodles. The Little Helping had fun poking peas into his mouth one at a time. Mr. Second Helpings gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. After two meals I stashed the remaining soup in the freezer. I feel a little cozier just knowing it will be there when we need it.

Even if you are feeling in tip-top shape I hope you give this delicious simple soup a try. It is a hug in a bowl and most of us could use more hugs in our lives.

Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup comes together quickly, making it a wonderful go-to recipe to keep on hand. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, a weekend lunch, an under the weather friend, or to chase away winter chills. Its radiant warmth is just the thing to cure any ailments. Modified from Chicken Soup by RainyDayGal

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes; Servings 10 approximately 1 1/2 cups each.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups celery inner ribs and leaves, cut in half length wise and diced
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled, quartered, and diced
  • 4 cups roasted chicken breast, shredded – use the breasts from a whole roasted chicken
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth – or homemade
  • 5 cups tap water
  • 1 packet of Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup &Dip Mix
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 6 cups (1package) fancy egg noodles*
  • Optional: salt and pepper

Method

Tools: 2 pots A big soup pot, 8 quart with a lid and a smaller pot with a lid around 3 quarts

1. Put the diced celery and carrots into the soup pot, heat on the stove over medium heat, and cover for a few minutes. The veggies will begin to soften and the color will brighten up. Stir a few times so they heat evenly and don’t burn. After about 5 minutes the celery starts turning translucent and the carrots may be easily pierced with a fork

2. Add the shredded chicken, broth, and water. Stir and then add the onion soup mix. Stir.

3. Increase the temperature to medium high. Let the pot simmer uncovered for 10 or more minutes. Stir and taste adding a little salt or pepper if needed.

4. While the soup simmers – Fill the smaller pot 2/3 full with tap water, cover and allow to come to a boil over high heat. Once the water has boiled add your desired amount of noodles. Feel free to dump in the entire bag. Boil the noodles for 3 minutes less than the package instructions indicate. They will be chewy or al dente. Carefully drain the water from the noodles.

5. Add the mostly cooked noodles to the simmering soup and stir in the thawed peas. Stir the soup and let it simmer for 10 more minutes. Taste it, adding a pinch more salt or pepper if desired.

Serve hot. Cool completely before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.

Approximate nutrition per serving: calories 271, fat 4.9, carbohydrate 33.5, fiber 3.2, protein 22.5, PP= 7

*Fancy egg noodles are not required for this recipe, you may use any wide soup noodle. I chose these for their thick hearty texture and fuller taste. I don’t like mushy noodles in my soup. Choosing a noodle lower in fat and calories will reduce the nutritional load and Points per serving.

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