That is, unless I make it myself.
I woke up this morning feeling pretty crappy. Not a surprise–everyone in the house had been sick over the Holidays, except me. I guess it’s my turn.
After Guy and Garrett went off to work/school, I crawled back in bed and didn’t emerge until around 10, when Zach appeared in my doorway. It was his day off and he had a tee time with his dad at noon. I complained to him about all of my ailments and ended my soliloquy with a request for some hot chicken soup later in the day.
Zach: “I’ll stop at the store on my way home and pick up a can for you if you want.”
Me (in exaggerated whiney voice): “No thanks. Seriously, as much as I cook and wait on everyone around here even when they’re not sick, you’d think that someone could make the effort to make me some homemade soup.”
Zach laughed and headed for the shower. I wasn’t mad. He doesn’t really cook. Neither do Guy or Garrett. That’s the problem with being a good cook. I usually enjoy cooking for anyone and everyone, but once in a while, it would be nice to come home to a home cooked meal cooked by someone else. My cooking friends know what I’m talking about. Wishful thinking.
So . . . I wallowed for while and watched the news. Then I blew my nose and dragged myself into the shower. Off to the store I went.
So here is the recipe for my super-easy homemade chicken soup. You can use noodles (chicken noodle soup), or try a can of (drained and rinsed) white beans instead. Or add more veggies and you’ve got yourself chicken and vegetable soup. Really, it’s so easy–just try it once and I know you won’t go back to the can.
A few notes:
1) I used store-bought chicken broth or stock. Of course, you should make your own broth, but it’s not necessary, especially if you’re sick and you wake up with a hankering for soup and there is no homemade broth in the freezer. If you do want to make your own broth, I recommend Ina Garten’s recipe.
2) I like to use broken linguine pasta for my noodles in the soup. You can use whatever kind of pasta or noodles, big or small, that you want or have on hand. I like the linguine noodles because when cooked and floating around in the soup, they are similar in size to the noodles you’ll find in the famous can. The kids love it. If you have little kids, have them break up the noodles–it’s fun.
3) If you have some leftover cooked chicken, use it! Instead of browning the chicken breasts with the veggies, as instructed in the recipe, just add the chopped, cooked chicken to the soup when you add the broth.
4) I chop all my veggies pretty small. I like little pieces so that I can get a bit of everything in one big spoonful when I eat it. Some people like bigger chunks. Do whatever you like–it’s your soup.
Easy “Get Well” Homemade Chicken Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, cleaned and cut into dice (no need to peel)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders, or 2 chicken breasts, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine (optional, but I recommend it because, well . . . . wine)
- 2 teaspoons Bodacious Bird seasoning, or other poultry seasoning
- 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried (if you don’t have bay leaves, don’t sweat it–leave them out)
- 8 cups (2 cartons) good quality chicken broth (I sometimes add more broth at the end, if the pot seems too crowded after the noodles are cooked)
- 1/2 pound linguine pasta, broken
- A handful fresh parsley, chopped
Add-Ins and Other Options – Get Creative!
- Use 1 can of White Beans (Great Northern or Cannellini), instead of pasta or noodles
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place a large pot over moderate heat and add extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrots, onion, celery and diced chicken. Sautee the chicken and vegetables in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown. Add the wine (if using) and the Bodacious Bird (or other poultry seasoning) and stir until wine is nearly evaporated this will happen quickly). Add the broth and bay leaves to the pot and increase the heat so that the soup just comes to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and add the pasta. Cook the soup an additional 6-8 minutes or until noodles are tender and remove soup from the heat.
Stir in parsley, remove bay leaves and serve.