• 1 whole chicken, 2-3 pounds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • one whole vidalia onion sliced into wedges
  • leaves from celery stalks
  • 1 lb farro pasta noodles
  • "better than bouillon" reduced sodium chicken broth
  • canola oil
  • sea salt & pepper

Oh the ravages of bronchitis.  If I’m sick I’m usually pretty self sufficient and don’t really want to be doted on, but every now and again you have that day or two where your sickness seems hopeless!  Enter Chicken Noodle Soup.  I’m sorry, but there’s no meal more comforting that this when you’re sick.

Why the story of help, because on this day I asked Mark to make me soup as I was feeling quite horrible.  Well, I came upon a horror of another kind when he brought home a rotisserie chicken from Costco to make my soup with.  UUUUGGGGHHHH!

Seriously, all my body was craving was some wholesome, soup.  Not some half assed ghetto version with sodium laden seasonings.  Oh he really cares about me doesn’t he.  So, food is a fine line in our house.  More often than not we have disagreements over how I want my food prepared.  We’ve been together for quite a few years now, so this should come as no surprise.

I’ve said it before, he and his boys eat one way, the girls and I another.  Most days I don’t care and am more than happy to prepare a separate meal, but when I ask for help, that means I really need help.  Needless to say it left me a little disappointed and him frustrated with what he thought was a good deed.

Ahh, the next day.  I make my soup.  It was devine.  Chicken soup is soul food, comforting food and well worth the little bit of effort.

The overall recipe takes time, but the hands on time is minimal.  If you need to, break up the process.  Cook the chicken in the morning or the day before and finish it later on.

The Recipe

Remove the inside packaging from the chicken.  Rinse chicken with cold water.  Fill soup pot with water allowing room for the chicken.

Bring water, chicken, celery leaves & bay leaves to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  It should cook for 30-45 minutes.  When you can remove the meat with a fork, it’s done.  You don’t want to overcook it or it will become rubbery.  Remove the chicken from the water and set in a shallow dish.  Check the meat between the leg and the breast to be sure it’s not pink.  If it is, return to the water and continue cooking until meat is white.

Let both the chicken and the water cool.  You can put both in the refrigerator to speed the process.

While the chicken cooks, cut celery, carrots and onions.  Heat large skillet with canola oil add veggies and salt and pepper.  Cook 5 minutes until veggies begin to soften.

When both chicken and broth are cool return to counter.  With a large spoon, remove all coagulated fat from the top of your broth.  Add 4 teaspoons of “better than bouillon” reduced sodium chicken broth.  If more chicken flavor is required add one teaspoon at a time.  Make sure it’s completely dissolved before adding more.  Add vegetables and cook for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.  I like farro pasta, but you can use your favorite.  drain pasta, toss lightly with extra virgin olive oil and set aside in a bowl.

Remove all meat from chicken, including dark meat by tearing it into spoon sized strips.  There’s no method here, it’s however you like it.  Add chicken to soup to reheat.

Your soup is complete.  We keep the noodles separately as they tend to expand while sitting in the liquid.  They heat with no effort in your hot soup.

I like to season my soup with a dash or two of siracha and a pinch of crushed red pepper.  I think it helps to get the nasal passages open :)