Sunday, January 26, 2014

Get Well Soup Recipe

Tis the season for sniffles and sneezes and flus. Sometimes all you need is a nice big bowl of soup to start feeling a bit better. This is a chicken noodle soup that is easy and great at any time, but can really help turn a cold around. It's hearty, but not heavy and there's a little kick of cayenne which can help a stuffy nose to unblock. My boyfriend was home sick for a week with a particularly nasty cold and I made this soup for him and he was able to heat up a bowl as needed, quickly and easily and much better than the stuff from a can. You can double or half the recipe or adjust it as you like very easily. I use boneless, skinless chicken breast because I find it easier to prepare, but my mom uses thighs since she finds them more flavorful. If you are using a bone in meat you may want a little bit more by weight.

~ 2 pounds of chicken, cleaned
2 tbps canola oil
1 small or 1/2 a large yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 boxes chicken broth (you can use any variety you like, low or no sodium, organic, etc.)
Salt and pepper
Ground cayenne pepper, to taste (I use about 1-2 tsp)
Egg noodles

You want to make sure your chicken is cleaned, fat, cartilage and blood vessels removed. Season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. I sprinkle a little cayenne on only one side, start with just a teaspoon, otherwise it can be overwhelming. You can always add a little to the broth later on.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a LARGE pot. I cook about 3 breasts at a time so as to not overcrowd the pot. You want them to be golden brown on each side and cooked through. Once cooked remove to a cutting board.

While the chicken is cooking you'll want to prepare the vegetables for the mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot.) If you like more vegetables in your soup, feel free to add more.

Once all the chicken is cooked, add only the onions to the remaining oil in the pan. You don't want to overcook them, just let them sweat a bit and lose some of that bitterness. You can lower the heat to medium low.

In the meantime you want to dice or shred your chicken, it's all about preference. I personally like mine diced.Set the chicken aside.

Next add the celery and carrots to the pot and let them cook for a few minutes, you don't want them super cooked, you just want them to build some flavor.

Add the chicken back in to the pot and then add the broth. Turn the heat back to medium/medium high.

I realized a little too late that my pot was too small for the second box of broth and had to switch, that's why that last picture looks like very little broth.

Let this simmer on medium for about 20 minutes. If you will be serving the entire batch you can then add the noodles and cook for about 7 minutes. However, I don't recommend adding the noodles if you aren't eating it all right away. The noodles will absorb the liquid and end up soggy and the soup will lose a lot of broth.

Here's what I do:

Measure out a serving of noodles into a sauce pan.

Ladle in the desired amount of soup (don't forget your veggies!)
Boil for about 7 minutes (follow package recommendation on the noodles) and serve while still hot.

Enjoy and feel better soon!

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