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Who doesn’t like chicken noodle soup, especially when tired or sick? I know it always makes me feel better, especially in early January when I am recovering from the hectic – but fun – holidays! While the direct health benefits of chicken noodle soup have yet to be confirmed in research studies, it does contain healthy nutrients, and inhaling the warm steam from the soup reportedly helps to clear your sinuses. Yet, I think we can all agree that the love you put into making this soup transfers to those you serve it to, and makes them feel better!
Note: I think the keys to this recipe are:
- The intense flavor of the broth. Use a good quality chicken base (as mentioned in the recipe, I like Better-Than-Bouillon Organic), and make sure to simmer it, along with the veggies, for the full 45 minutes before adding the chicken and herbs. This concentrates and enhances the flavor. Of course, you can substitute homemade chicken – or turkey – stock if you have it – but still simmer it for 45 minutes.
- Cooking the noodles separately and not adding them into the broth mixture until serving. This step keeps the noodles from getting mushy.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large stalks celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chicken base (I like organic "Better than Bouillon" brand)
- 8 cups water
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- kosher salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 10 ounces egg noodles, cooked, drained (see Tip)
- In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped celery, carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft.
- Stir in chicken base and water; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
- Stir in parsley, thyme and cooked chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper (may not need much salt).
- Divide cooked noodles between 8 individual soup bowls. Ladle hot soup over the top. Serve immediately.
Tip: To keep noodles from sticking together, DON’T add oil to the water! Instead, reserve some pasta water and toss drained noodles with the water.