Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Healthy and Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

When planning dinners for the week ahead, sometimes I will ask my kids what they would like included on the list. Unfortunately, the responses usually include pizza, burgers or Kraft dinner.

Homemade flavor without making the broth from scratch.
So when my daughter requested Chicken Noodle Soup (she had a case of the sniffles), I smiled and said “great idea honey!”

On the inside my reaction was more like a victorious “YES”, followed by a celebratory fist-pump, knowing her brother loves chicken noodle soup as well!

Comfort soup for when you have a case of the sniffles.

My kids have different tastes in food so when I can find a healthy dinner they both agree on, I triple highlight it on the meal plan to mark such a rare occasion. ; )

Homemade Flavor Without Making Broth From Scratch

Nourishing chicken noodle soup with shredded chicken, carrots and plenty of egg noodles

Every spoonful of this nourishing chicken noodle soup includes small pieces of shredded chicken, carrots and plenty of egg noodles!

To make it fairly quickly, I cheat by using store-bought chicken broth. To give the broth a rich homemade flavor, I brown chicken thighs (you can also use chicken breasts) in the soup pot first.

Over the years I have also learned to cook extra noodles. No matter how many I add to the broth there are never enough in the bowl for the kids.

What healthy meal can your kids agree on? Let me know in the comments! 

Browning the chicken in the pot gives the broth a deep rich flavor.

Healthy and Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

Makes: 4 to 6 Servings
Hands-on Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 2 cups broad egg noodles
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 1 breast cut into thirds
  • 1/2 onion, cut into large pieces (this allows you to remove them easily from broth)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
In a large pot, cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside.

In the same pot, heat oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat bottom of pot with oil. Lightly season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and lay flat on the bottom of the pot. Cook for 4 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook for 3 minutes longer on the other side, or until chicken thighs are cooked all the way through.  Remove cooked chicken from pot and shred with a fork.

Add onion and carrots to pot. Cook and stir until onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 30 seconds longer. Add broth and water. Scrape the bottom of pot with a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Slowly strain soup through a mesh sieve into a large bowl to catch the broth below. As the broth drains out of the pot, allow the larger chunks of onion and garlic slices to fall out of the pot while keeping the carrots in the pot. It works fairly well if you drain the broth slowly. Return the strained broth to the pot with the carrots. Add shredded chicken to the pot.

Ladle hot soup into serving bowls and add desired amount of cooked egg noodles.

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Brent Garell testing the food at College Recipe Cafe Brent Garell is the guy behind Cook-a-Palooza. When he's not stuffing his face with food, he's blogging, shooting YouTube videos, and travelling to local campuses to equip students with cooking 101 skills. He's on a mission to make cooking easy. Let's see what works!

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