Chicken Noodle Soup for the Sick One
I had every intention of being a very busy cook last weekend. I had picked out recipes, planned menus and was on the whole very excited about trying new things. But R got sick with a very bad case of the flu and my cooking plans switched from gourmet to comfort foods. I’ve mentioned before that R comes from a family who cooks a great deal and always has some sort of homemade soup in the fridge (along with homemade potato blintzes and blini… mmm!). So as you can imagine, the pressure was on to cook this boy some homemade remedies and first on my list was chicken noodle soup.
I didn’t have time (read: spent too long watching the ANTM marathon…) to make the chicken stock from scratch, so my version wasn’t quite “authentic.” But I’ve found that authenticity can be highly overrated, especially when you’re not an expert cook yet and your chicken stock is quite likely not to turn out as planned. So in the interest of time and taste I took some shortcuts.
The biggest mistake I made was following the recipe. No offense to Tyler Florence, but I should have known better than to cook the noodles in the soup. How many times had my mom told me that if you cook the noodles in the soup, they will absorb all the liquid? Many times. And in the time it took for me to eat one bowl of soup, mom’s theory was proven right as all of the noodle had grown to three times their original size and a shallow pool of liquid was all that remained of the stock. (Good thing I hadn’t made the stock from scratch! Then I would really have been mad!)
Nevertheless, it was a tasty soup and managed to feed R through the rest of the week while I was at work. It certainly wasn’t my bubbe’s chicken soup, but I’m pretty confident she’d understand my need for convenience every once in a while. If you’re not up for whole chicken-stock-from-scratch thing, try my shortcut recipe!
Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 qt. chicken stock
8 oz. dried wide egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Meanwhile, boil water in a separate pot and cook noodles according to package instructions. When slightly less than al dente, drain and set aside. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Fold in the noodles and chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.