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chicken noodle soupIt started yesterday, very subtly. At first I thought my throat was just dry, as the heat had been cranking at work. That seems to happen when the weather changes. One day is freezing cold (like Monday was) and they turn on the heat. Then the next day is warm and seasonal. Which is lovely outside. But the office heat is now on full blast, which makes for a rather stuffy interior. So, I thought maybe my throat was a little scratchy just from the hot and dry office environment.

But when I woke up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t suck in air through my nose, I knew it wasn’t my imagination, and I’m getting sick. It’s not surprising really, as everyone seems to sick lately. Mike was sick a few weeks ago and I somehow dodged that. So I guess it’s now my turn.

As the day progressed, there was no denying it – intermittent sneezes, progressively stuffier nose, and more and more wadded up tissues filling the garbage can.

This calls for soup! By the time I dragged myself home, walked Walter, and came back to make dinner, I was in no mood for any elaborate preparation. I wanted soup and I wanted it NOW! I thought there must be an “almost” instant solution. And there is! In the amount of time it took to boil water and cook the noodles, I had made soup. It was quick and easy enough for my stuffy head to manage. It soothed my sore throat and filled my sick belly with warmth. Good till the last drop!

last bit of chicken noodle soup

Almost Instant Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 2
1 small yellow onion
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 inch fresh ginger, minced
4 carrots
4 c. chicken stock (1 box)
2 c. water
½ c. dried mushrooms (this was about 8-10 small shitake)
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
juice from ¼ lemon (about 2 wedges)
3-4 tsp. salt
½ box pasta noodles, like fusili

1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil to cook your pasta.
2. Meanwhile, heat another medium stock pot (or dutch oven) over medium-low heat. Add olive oil.
3. While oil heats, quickly and roughly chop up onion into a large dice. Add to warm pot and stir.
4. Peel ginger and either grate or slice. Add to onion in pot and stir 1 min.
5. Add in lemongrass and stir.
6. Peel carrots and cut into pieces approx. 2 inches (2 bites per piece). This is roughly quartering a carrot.
7. When onions start to cook down (maybe another 2-3 min), add chicken stock. Raise heat to medium-high.
8. Add pasta to large pot when water starts to boil. Cook for 1-2 min. less than recommended time on box.
9. Fill chicken stock container halfway with water. Add this water to soup pot.
10. Add dried mushrooms to soup pot. Cover and bring to simmer.
11. Let soup simmer while pasta continues to cook.
12. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to soup pot.
13. Add in parsley, salt, and lemon juice. Adjust salt to taste.
14. Enjoy!

almost instant chicken noodle soupA note on chicken stock:
My nutritionist recommended the Costco brand organic stock. It has the fewest ingredients, is free of all the allergens and foods I removed while on the elimination diet (this includes yeast and other suspects preservatives). I find the flavor to be very lovely and not too salty or overpowering. You should use whichever stock you are partial to. If you have allergies or food sensitivities, don’t forget to check ingredients in your stock.

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