The alternative title for this blog would have been “On the Mend.” Boy are we grateful to have gotten over the hump of the flu. We are all doing much better. Weak and tired, but functioning. Most of the day was spent in recovery and getting the house in some semblance of order. Which took time, baby steps, since we are all still recovering. I did get a pot of the “soup that cures.” It’s what I crave when I am sick but also the day after Thanksgiving when you have a turkey hangover but have all that leftover poultry in your fridge. I hope you’ll give this one a try. It’s a flexible recipe, so you should toss in any veggie your family loves, play with the seasonings, boil the chicken longer… just report back to me what you try and like so I too can make adaptations!
Chicken Noodle Soup
Whole (or half) chicken (cooked) on the bone
4 medium carrots
4 stalks of celery
1 ear (or can) of corn
1/2 medium onion
1-2 cups wide egg noodles (can be substituted for lentils or rice to fit your preference)
1 Lipton onion soup package
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3-4 bay leaves
(optional) a couple of whole peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp seasoning salt
- In an 8 quart stock pot or dutch oven boil a (half or) whole chicken on the bone in 7 quarts of water. Boil 3-4 hours, but the longer the better. You can boil all day on a low simmer for more flavor and nutrients. I love making this recipe on a cold day as it warms the whole house both in temperature and with the delicious smell. I happened to use a rotisserie chicken this time, but previously have used leftover cooked turkey pieces after Thanksgiving, leftover chicken drumsticks from dinner earlier in the week, you can really get creative. Throw in any cooked chicken on the bone to create a great soup base! Really.
- Carefully remove meat off the bone, when using a rotisserie chicken I found this so easy. If you are using scraps it is a bit more challenging. As I pulled out meat into one bowl I put bones, cartilage, and skin into another. The goal is to leave only the broth in your dutch oven. I even used a strainer and ran the broth through it into another pot to ensure no bones, with kids I worry about this more.
- Dice carrots, celery, and onion into small pieces.
- Add vegetables, onion soup mix, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, and optional peeled garlic cloves to stock. Boil until veggies are tender – about 20 minutes. Then add in chicken, breaking it up into pieces to your liking.
- Mix the flour and seasoning salt with about a quarter cup of water, whisking so there are no lumps. Add a bit more water if necessary. You are going for a thin paste consistency. This is called a rue and will help thicken the broth.
- Cut the kernels off of one (or two) ear(s) of corn and toss in the pot.
- At this time also add the egg noodles. These two ingredients do not need long to cook through so serve as soon as the noodles are soft (before they are mushy.)**TIP even better than a rue is to add in leftover gravy from Thanksgiving. This brings flavor and a thickness that is so lovely.**Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves and cloves of garlic before serving.
Serve with dinner rolls and a side salad if it’s a full meal. But realistically this is the perfect meal to take a sick friend; make up from whatever you have in your fridge when you are sick yourself, like we did today; or to make using leftover chicken and bones then freeze. (If you are freezing or taking to a friend I recommend keeping the noodles separate to add in, or adding in when you thaw, so that the noodles don’t get mushy and overcooked.
Today was a recovery day. The boys had school, or so we thought, so a quick bowl of cereal was managed. We did talk tonight over dinner about needing to eat more healthy things at breakfast. I explained that they need to add fruit to their plain cereal, eat an egg, have some yogurt, or try some of the new things Momma is making for them. They seemed to understand but we shall see.
Corban did have a bit more of a breakfast, and his own lunch to get him fed before nap time.
Lunch was the delicious chicken noodle soup. And if you jump over to my Instagram account you can see it made on my insta stories, but just until tomorrow mid day. We at them with some rolls from Costco, I have no idea how we will make it through the whole bag so either I’ll offer to bring bread to community dinner tomorrow, freeze some, give some away in my local Buy Nothing or a combination of all these things.
Soup really is such a wonderful healing friend. Making it was as it was slow, and I could take my time. Good since I’m still on the mend. And because it’s light enough for sick stomachs but also very nourishing.
Thankfully my mom brought us Pho (Vietnamese Soup) and curry for dinner. It is a favorite of us all and we devoured it! First real whole meal for Ben and I and boy am I grateful.
We are going to be tonight with full stomachs, happy hearts, and a whole lot more health than last night. Hope to be fully back on track tomorrow. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this recipe.