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Pantry Raid: Homestyle Chicken Soup

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Since I started eating meat again last year, I almost always keep a package of organic chicken thighs or breasts in my freezer for fresh, quick-to-assemble meals like curried chicken salad, chicken bacon ranch pasta—and this simple chicken soup.

Chicken or vegetable broth concentrate, like Better Than Bouillon brand, is a staple that I like to keep in the fridge for soups, sauces, and any other recipes that require stock. This way, I can use as much or as little as I need, without opening a full box of stock. The broth concentrate paste just gets scooped out of the jar and added to whatever I’m cooking along with water or other liquid. And as a bonus, it dissolves quicker when compared to bouillon cubes. Low sodium and organic varieties are available, too, which I usually try to buy but sometimes they are hard to find in stores.

Other alternatives to the broth concentrate are a good quality organic vegetable or chicken stock (Wegmans house brand is fairly low sodium) or, of course, homemade stock.

Chicken Noodle Soup

I always like to freeze leftover soup, without the noodles, in quart or pint containers marked with the date. A slow cooker or a dutch oven are usually my best friends when it comes to making soups and stews. If you’re using a slow cooker, always be sure to follow the instructions for your particular model, since yours could have different heat settings than mine.

Serves 8 dinner-sized portions (12oz servings)

Ingredients

Oil or butter, for sauteing
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
2 cups of celery, diced
2 cups of carrots, diced
1 cup of parsnips, diced
1 pound organic chicken breasts or thighs, or a combination of both
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
4-5 springs of thyme
1 bag egg noodles
Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Heat oil or butter in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Season chicken breasts or thighs with salt and pepper, and brown until mostly cooked, 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cover with foil.

Add more oil or butter, if needed, to the pot and saute onions, garlic, and celery until fragrant. Add carrots, broth, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to soup with any of its juices. Cover soup and cook on low for approximately 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked through.

While soup is cooking, prepare egg noodles per directions on the side of the package, cooking until al dente as the noodles will finish cooking in the soup.

Serve soup with egg noodles and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.