Frugal Foodie Mama: Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

So, my poor tweener son has a sore throat today.  What better to feed your sick kid than homemade chicken noodle soup?  I know it is tempting to just pop the top on some Progresso (and I am not saying that I never do that myself, lol!), but making your own chicken noodle soup from scratch is so easy that you have to make it every once in a while.  I also share the same sentiments on jarred pasta sauce, but that is for another blog.  ;) 

To get started, dice about half of onion and mince 2 cloves of garlic.  Heat 2-3 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup/stock pot.  (Did I mention that this is a one pot deal??  Score!)  Once the oil is heated, add & saute the onion & garlic.  As the onion & garlic is sauteing, chop about a third of a package of baby carrots into bite-sized bits.  (Keep those carrots in check and cut gently.  They will try to get away from you!)  Add the carrot bits to the onions in the pot, and saute another 3 minutes.  Stir the onions & carrots often so they do not burn.  During the late minute of sauteing, add a little flavor- salt & pepper, some thyme, tarragon, and rosemary.  I used all dried herbs, but feel free to use fresh if you have them on hand.

Pour an entire 32 oz carton of chicken broth into the pot.  I also add a few cups of water.  Turn up the heat to medium-high.  This is when I throw in a bay leave.  It isn't necessary, but it gives the broth a nice flavor.  Heat the broth to a boil.  As the broth is heating, cut up 1-2 cooked chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  (Ah-hem- this is where that rotisserie chicken from earlier this week comes in nicely!)  Add the chicken to the pot.  As this point, you can throw in any frozen veggies you may have on hand- peas, green beans, whatever suits your fancy.  Once the broth is boiling, add your noodles.  I used vermicelli & broke them into fourths before throwing them into the pot.  But you can use any pasta you have on hand- small shells, linguine, egg noodles, etc.  Just make sure they are in easily spoonable sizes.  :)  Once the noodles are almost done, scoop out the bay leaf. Then throw in any greens you have on hand.  I used baby spinach leaves that I tore into smaller pieces.  But you could also use kale or swiss chard.  Let the soup cook for another 3-5 minutes and then taste the broth.  Does it need more salt or pepper?  Go ahead and add it. 

This is an amazingly easy and surprisingly quick dinner, and who isn't impressed with HOMEMADE chicken noodle soup??  I ladled our soup into bowls and topped it with a few tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese.  Serve with a crusty bread or your favorite crackers.  Enjoy!