A few weeks ago it was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school. One of the things I wanted to give his teacher was a home cooked meal. I was going to deliver it one day after school (at 3:00 p.m.) so I needed something that would travel well and still taste great when reheated later in the evening. After thinking about it for a while I decided soup would be a good option. I usually go for some type of Mexican soup when taking food to a family because you can deliver it with chips, salsa, and toppings and have a full meal. But I ended up going with something a little different this time. I was looking for something that seemed a little more like “home.” I decided homemade chicken noodle soup would be the perfect choice. I sent the soup with a box of crackers, salad, and chocolate covered almonds (her favorite.)
There is nothing quite as comforting as chicken noodle soup. When you make it at home and use nourishing ingredients it can be quite good for you too. You can up the health factor in this recipe by using whole wheat or gluten free noodles and homemade chicken broth. This recipe is very easy to make and usually provides plenty of leftovers. Like most soups, it tastes even better on day 2 and 3. It also freezes well.
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 carrots, chopped
- 5 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 2-3 cups whole wheat noodles, I used fusilli
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- fresh parsley for garnishing, optional
- Heat oil over medium heat and saute onion for about 5 minutes or until they become translucent.
- Add in the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the carrots, celery and thyme to the pan and cook 5-7 minutes, softening the vegetables.
- Add in the bay leaves, salt, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in the noodles and bring to a low boil. Cook the noodles for about 15 minutes. (Check the instructions on the package. You can adjust the cooking time based on what the instructions say.)
- Add in the chicken and let it warm through, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add a few tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley to garnish.
- Serve with crackers.
Real Food Tips:
- If you use a rotisserie chicken take a look at the ingredients on the back. Many stores use a lot of additives (including MSG) and a crazy amount of sodium. To read a little bit more about choosing a better chicken go here.
- Use whole wheat noodles to increase the fiber and protein of the soup. To find whole wheat noodles look for packages that say 100% whole wheat, whole grain or duram whole wheat flour. If it just says wheat or multigrain it’s probably not whole wheat noodles. Whole grain brown rice noodles (or another GF noodle) would work well too but you may need to decrease the cooking time since they typically cook faster than whole wheat noodles.
- You can make your own chicken stock at home. I’ve tried many store brands and not one of them can beat the flavor of the homemade stuff. If you do need to get some at the store, look over the ingredients. Since many store bought stocks are just not that tasty they add things like MSG and a lot of salt to make it taste better.