I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. And there are a lot of days where I feel like I’m falling short of who I want to be and what I want to be doing.
Oddly, I’ve found some sort of stress and anxiety relief in the most unlikely place – chicken soup.
The healing qualities of a warm bowl of soup – especially the chicken noodle variety – are well documented. But it’s not just slurping back the warm broth and rich noodles, it’s the act of making the soup that I find to be the most therapeutic.
And I’ve made a lot of soup this winter. Sure, some of it was to ward off the chill of winter and speed along those winter colds, but most was a form of stress relief for me.
When you’re like me and constantly question whether you’re doing the right thing, at the right time, worry comes like a second skin. So having an outlet where you can make something that doesn’t have to be perfectly timed, with the ingredients cut just so, and watched carefully so it doesn’t boil over … well, that’s bliss.
The thing about chicken noodle soup is that it is, at its core, a forgiving recipe. It’s simple. It’s not pretentious and Pinterest-pictured to make you crazy trying to recreate it.
Carrots cut too fine or too large? No problem.
Chicken shredded, not diced? It makes no difference.
Have to pause in the middle of cooking to take a call, defuse a tantrum? So long as you turn the burners off, your soup will be fine for a brief pause.
And it’s comforting and gratifying to know it’s a one-pot meal that you made from scratch.
Know that the broth will hide any cooking faults, and the ingredient list can please just about any picky eater.
At my house, this soup is filling enough for a family dinner. But it’s also straightforward and easy to grind and feed to our baby – and slurped without any complaint from our big kid.
If you’ve only ever had chicken noodle soup out of a can, you’re missing something. Not because the flavors of the homemade version are going to knock your socks off, or be so unrecognizable that you’ll never go back to the canned stuff.
You can and you will.
But making chicken noodle soup from scratch is a process, and if you let yourself get wrapped up in it, you might just find a few of your worries pass you by. Just stand over the pot and breathe in the flavorful aroma. Watch the colorful ingredients take shape as the soup comes together. It soothes the soul.
You’ll find a thousand recipes for chicken noodle soup on the Web. This is mine. It’s the kind of thing I crave – especially on a cold, winter afternoon like this, where the snowflakes are already swirling outside my window. With another snowstorm expected tonight, I might just have to make a batch myself.
1 Tablespoon oil
4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 small onions, diced (really depends on your preference)
4-5 stalks celery, split down the middle and diced
5 carrots, peeled, halved and diced
6 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup pasta
Add oil into a large stockpot. Add in chicken thighs. Coat the top side of the chicken with thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, until chicken is browned (about 6 minutes).
Once there’s a nice golden crust, flip chicken and cook on the other side for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a bowl.
Add onions, celery and carrots to the saucepan. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping the browned bits from the pan as you go. Put the chicken back in. Add in broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup pasta. While the pasta is cooking, remove the bones from chicken and shred the meat. Add the shredded chicken back into the soup.
Source: A Growing Sprouts Original 🙂
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