Lately in my office, everyone has been sick. Some, more than once. I’m not sure exactly why these germs keep floating around, but I know we aren’t the only ones suffering.
Growing up in the States, chicken noodle soup was always the first thing my mom gave me when I came down with a cold. Now that I live in the UK, I have found myself surprised at how hard it can be to find chicken noodle soup in restaurants and even supermarkets. And while I am quite rarely craving soup from a can, when you can barely function well enough to get home, it can be a real lifesaver.
While this soup isn’t going to replace the convenience of a canned soup, it is pretty delicious and warming. It’s also a very nice peace offering if you happen to pass someone else your germs. In my case, I had to make myself the chicken noodle soup and then pull together a vegetable miso soup for the meat-free gentleman, but that is another blog post.
One of my favorite things about this soup is that it doesn’t take hours to make, and it doesn’t require all that much effort for the flavor you get. Cooking the veggies in broth will help rejuvenate a store-bought broth.
On the Counter
1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast (not breast pieces), or 3 pieces of chicken thigh
1.5 quarts chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, cut into half
2 stalks celery
1 large parsnip
2 sprigs parsley, plus 2 tbsp chopped
1/4 pound tagliatelle or egg noodles, broken in half (remove for gluten-free)
1 sprig fresh dill, chopped (optional)
What to Do
Roughly chop half of each vegetable (except the garlic), and neatly dice the other half. Reserve the neatly diced vegetables.
In a large soup pot, combine the chicken stock and chicken. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the top, then lower to a simmer. Skim any remaining foam, then add roughly-chopped onion, carrot, celery, parsnip and garlic.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Then, remove the chicken and place it on a plate to cool. Strain the broth to remove the vegetables, and discard them. They have done their part.
Return the broth to the heat, salt to taste. Add the remaining neatly-diced vegetables, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
Meanwhile, start the noodles in a pot of salted boiling water, and cook until tender, just past al dente.
Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, separate it from the skin and bones, and shred it to bite-sized pieces. Place in a small bowl with some broth to keep it from drying out.
After the vegetables soften, add the cooked noodles and chicken. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the fresh chopped parsley and dill if using.
I prefer serving this with a warm, crusty piece of bread topped with butter and herbs, when not too sick to enjoy such things. Dessert: A mug of ginger, honey and lemon tea.
Apologies for the iPhone photos – it’s hard to convince yourself to take proper pictures when you’re not feeling well!