I am not fond of winter in New England. It’s not so much the winter honestly than the cold and wind. As I sit typing I hear the wind blowing and I know it’s a chilly morning. The thought of stepping out into the cold doesn’t thrill me.
I do love the first snow, the quiet after it. The beauty of it sitting on the trees and bushes. As soon as it starts to melt and turn brown I am over it.
Winter calls for warming foods for me. I sip herbal teas most of the day I am either home or at work. I love broths and soups and warm one dish casseroles. I do crave heavier meatier foods during the winter and give into that but soup is my first love. I look forward to being able to cook a pot of soup. Either on the stove top or crockpot.
There’s all kinds of sayings that chicken noodle soup is good for the soup. There are more sayings about the healing powers of a good bone broth. I can say yes, it’s good for the soup and the body.
I’ve also been suffering with a lot of nausea. Some of it I am sure is stress related and I try to accept that but some of it I know is a result of the hormonal changes going on in my body or at least that is what they tell me. I am still not fully embracing the idea of stress and hormones can make me feel this crappy at times. Yet soup is the one thing, no matter how cruddy I feel, I can manage to eat.
The recipe I am sharing today isn’t overly complicated. It’s super easy. You could throw everything in the crockpot and go to work and have dinner waiting for you or whip this up in under 40 mins.
I’d love to say only use fresh made chicken stock you made yourself. But let’s be real, if you work and your busy you may not have the time to make your own broth. You just may not want to do it even. So to that I say use your best judgement in selecting a good chicken stock that isn’t ridiculously high in sodium and doesn’t have sugar in it. Yeah, really look at the labels of things. They hide sugar in everything.
I used raw chicken in my soup but if you don’t have the time or are just tired it is perfectly fine to pick up some cooked chicken. Again the trick is to read labels. Find something with the fewest ingredients possible.
Use whatever vegetables you want. There are no rules. In the pot of soup I made the other night I used several different colored carrots to just add a bit more color to the dish. Only disappointing thing is that the purple carrots turned sort of brown. Oh well.
Play with noodles as well. I nearly bought little round O’s to put in our soup but was craving a thicker noodle. I’ll sound like I am repeat here but check the labels if you’re not making your own noodles. The key is less ingredients that you can pronounce.
There was a time in my life where I would roast a chicken, save the bones, make a broth in my crockpot and even make some noodles. It was delish. But to be honest I don’t have that time and my thrown together quick soup I know is better than a can of some soup and I have leftovers to enjoy without my rings getting tight.
So why soup? Well if your currently on a promise to lose weight soup is a great way to get the nutrients in you need with fewer calories. It’s got lots of water to not only help you feel fuller but will help with hydration which is more just as important in the winter months as it is in the summer months. Also if your working out hydration is very important and it aids in weight loss.
Soup is one of those dishes I have mentioned before that is easy to change-up and make different easily like risotto or a fritata. Play with it and make a soup you like.
Here’s my basic recipe for chicken noodle soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup
64 ounces of a good chicken broth
2 large chicken breasts cut into strips
carrots or other root veggies diced
1 cup or a few handfuls of larger noodles
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
seasonings like salt, pepper, oregano, thyme. Sage is good too
Heat a large pot and add your olive oil. Once your olive oil is warm add your veggies, onions and cook , stirring often untill they just begin to soften. Often about 5 mins or so. Add your garlic and cook until fragant.
Next add your chicken broth and bring a boil. If your using raw chicken now is the time to add it. Cooking on a low boil for about 20 mins. Then if you cut into large strips or left the breasts whole, remove the chicken and shred and add back to the soup. Add your noddles at this time and cook for until the noodles are to your liking. I like to stop when they are aldente.
If your using already cooked chicken, add the cooked chicken to the pot when the broth comes to a boil and then turn to simmer. Cooking until chicken is warmed through. You can add your noodles at this time.
Now it’s time to taste your soup and add your seasonings. Always add a little seasoning at a time as you can add more but you can’t take it out once it’s in.
Get our your favorite soup bowl or mug and dig in!
Until next time, keep warm and I wish you a very happy new year!