“Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants, men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding.” - John Erskine

21 January 2012

italian chicken noodle soup ~ sorta

I love soup.  Oldest loves soup.  Middlest and Littlest seem to not like soup, or theyre tired of it.  My husband says soup isn’t a meal, it’s an appetizer and when there’s only soup he gets hungry again about an hour after eating.  Because it’s mainly Oldest and I who want soup, I really do try to make it sparingly, but on cold freezy sick days when there’s little time, energy or desire to cook, soup is such a great option.

That being said, one of my husband’s favorite meals is pasta e fagioli soup.  (I promise Ill make it and share our favorite recipe with you soon.)  Maybe he likes this particular soup because there are so many noodles in it that it fills him up.  Problem is that he doesn’t like beans, and I haven’t figured out how to cook it to my satisfaction without the beans.  And what would I call it?  Pasta e ... carne?  So I thought this soup might be a good compromise.  Same sorts of flavors, chicken instead of beef and sausage, so more healthy, and no unwanted beans.

Italian Chicken Noodle Soup
serves 6
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about ½ lb), cut into ½” pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (½ cup)
32 ounces chicken broth (4 cups)
2 cups water
3 medium carrots, sliced (1½ cups)
2 cups broccoli florets
1½ cups uncooked medium egg noodles
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon garlic-pepper blend
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken.  Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in center.  Stir in onion.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender.
Stir in broth, water and carrots.  Heat to boiling.  Cook 5 minutes over medium heat.  Stir in broccoli, noodles, basil and garlic-pepper blend.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and noodles are tender.

Top each serving with cheese.

I don’t ordinarily keep egg noodles in the house, so I opted for rotini.  Mostly.  I did have a about a cup of shells that needed to be used up so I tossed them in the pot too.  I wanted a thicker soup, so I just tossed the noodles into the water/broth bath and let them soak up a lot of the liquid.  I didn’t feel like chopping, so I shredded the carrots with my mom’s hand-me-down Salad Shooter.  I was going to use frozen broccoli but couldnt find it so I used broccoli and cauliflower (one 12 ounce bag, steamed) and canned chicken ~ but only one can, since I wasn’t in much of a chickenish mood.  When everything was cooked, I turned off the heat and stirred some 4 cheese Italian blend strait into the mix.

Have to say, it turned out pretty well.  Not very soup-like, but warm, noodly and satisfying.  And maybe even good medicine for my cold.  (Hey, it was chicken soup, right?)  Everyone at it and seemed to like it quite well.  Chicken pasta e fagioli.  Without the fagioli.

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