I also need to give a big shout out to my wonderful husband, who (with a little bit of coaching) made this for me last night, when my fever was 103 and I could barely see straight. He protested a little bit at first, saying he didn't know how, but I promised to
So anyway, what we ended up with is something wonderful indeed. I am very pleased with it, since it's slightly different (and I think better) than my usual chicken noodle soup recipe. I like it so much that I think I'll make this my new standard, just varying the veggies by season or what's on hand.
Try it sometime and freeze any leftovers. When someone in your family needs something warm, nutritious and yummy, you'll have it ready to go! Is there anything more comforting than homemade soup?
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
(Makes 1 pot; about 8 servings)
** see also notes below
1 can cream of chicken soup (not condensed)
2-3 cans water, as needed
2 large cooked chicken breasts, or any leftover cooked chicken
Chicken base** to taste
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2-3 stalks celery, sliced
Baby carrots or sliced carrots
Yellow squash (2), chopped
Zucchini (1), chopped
Frozen baby lima beans
Elbow macaroni (couple handfuls)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper
Saute vegetables in olive oil for a few minutes. Add soup, water, and about 1 Tbsp chicken base (to start; you can add more later if you need it). Add chicken and bring to a simmer; check seasonings and add more chicken base if you want. You'll use the soup itself to cook the pasta, so add more water if needed (just a little at a time; you don't want it super-thin :-). Return soup to a simmer, add pasta** and cook about 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in herbs and serve to anyone in need of serious comfort food.
**Recipe notes: As with all soups, this is really more of a method than a specific recipe - hence all the notes. I am giving the ingredients (and method) I used, because they are what I had on hand, but any mild-flavored veggie or bean would work. Vary the proportions as you see fit. The most important thing here is protein and nutrition! On the canned soup, I used Health Valley Organic Cream of Chicken, which I just discovered (it's super!). For the chicken base, I use the Better than Bullion found in the grocery store soup aisle. They're absolutely right - the flavor is WAAYYY better than bullion cubes or granules (but if you use those, just add to taste - remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it back out). And on the pasta, if you're going to freeze the soup, just add (separately cooked) pasta to the portions you're serving; the pasta will have a much better texture if you don't freeze it in the soup. I like Barilla pasta because it's got those little ridges that hold sauce or broth.
Oh - and because I was sick and figured I need the calories, I might have added a little half and half to my servings. Even though I couldn't taste it until I ate some today, it was divine. But again, do that after you thaw any that you freeze. Don't add it before freezing.