Chicken Soup for the soul…and flu…and Girl Scouts…

Duty calls for me to make another batch of chicken soup. It’s a nasty flu virus going through the household, I family members are at different stages of recovery and so chicken soup will be the thing to help them over the house and back to being healthy. Is it summer yet?! 🙂

Today, I will make chicken noodle soup using my basic chicken soup recipe and then add in the things that make it chicken noodle soup. My basic chicken soup recipe can be adapted to make different varieties of chicken soup like chicken taco soup, Thai chicken soup, etc.

I taught my daughter’s Girl Scout troop (24 girls) to make this chicken soup recipe. We walked through some cooking basics like tying your hair back, washing your hands, and cleaning as you go. I demonstrated for the girls, how to prep a few such as the onions, how to peel and cut a carrot, and peeling and cutting garlic. We talked about knife safety and skills and then I put them at different stations and let them take turns cutting the different vegetables and adding them to the pot as we went. I think they really enjoyed it and hopefully learned something. Plus, no one lost a finger so, that was a win. My hope was that they would take the recipe which I sent home with them, and attempt to make a pot of soup for their family.  After all, cooking is a lifelong skill. Whether you’re single or married, kids or no kids, you always have to feed yourself, so it’s an important skill to learn.

This is my Eva above stirring the pot.

Anyway, my basic chicken soup recipe starts with the following:

A yellow onion, two cloves of garlic, two carrots, two stocks of celery, chicken broth or chicken broth base (I like Better Than Bouillon brand because it’s cheaper than buying boxes and cans of chicken broth, I can always have it around in the fridge or pantry, and even the experts at America’s Test Kitchen use it in their homes!) I typically use frozen chicken breasts because, again, they are fairly inexpensive, I always keep a bag in the freezer to grab and make soup or other things in a pinch. Finally parsley, lemon juice, pasta (your choice) and, of course, salt and pepper.

So, I start with the big soup pot and about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn on to medium heat.

Then, add your chopped onions and give them a little stir to coat them in the olive oil. Let them start to get translucent as you cut the garlic.

Once the onions have had a little head start, add the garlic. Never add the garlic at the same time as the onions because the garlic will burn before the onions are cooked and burnt garlic is no bueno.

Once the onions and garlic have had a few minutes together, and your carrots.

Once your carrots of had some time to chill and you’ve dropped your celery, go ahead and add it too. At this time I also add a good sprinkle of pepper and heavy pinch or two of salt.Give them few minutes, 3 to 5, to soften, add your chicken broth and chicken and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. 

Once the chicken is cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken and whether or not it’s frozen, remove from the pot and back to a cutting board.

While you let the chicken cool down, turn your pot back up to high and add your pasta. Once the pasta is boiling you can turn the heat down to medium and let it cook until al dente. (You can follow the time according to the directions on the box.)

While the pasta is cooking, you can cut your chicken and the bite-size cubes, and then add it back to the pot. Once the pasta is cooked through, it’s time to add the lemon juice and chopped parsley.Give it a stir and then, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, taste! Add salt, pepper or even more lemon juice to taste. Tasting your food as you go important but tasting before you serve is most important.THEN, serve and enjoy!

Basic Chicken Soup

  • 2-3 TB olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 6 cups chicken broth, stock or water and chicken broth paste
  • 3/4-1 lbs. frozen chicken
  • salt & pepper to taste!

Heat olive oil in a big soup pot on medium heat and then add onions. When onions turn from white to translucent, add garlic, carrots and celery and stir occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Then add your chicken broth and frozen chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked (5-7 minutes for tenderloins, 10-15 for breasts depending on thickness). Carefully remove the cooked chicken from the pot and chop it into bit size pieces on a cutting board. Add chicken back to soup and season with salt and pepper and taste to make sure the seasoning is right.

To Create Chicken Noodle soup, add the following to the above recipe

  • 4 oz dried pasta of your choice (cook soup on medium until pasta is al dente)
  • 1/8 cup chopped parsley
  • juice of ½ -1 lemon (depending on your desired taste)
  • Variations to Chicken Soup

To Create Chicken Taco Soup

Add to the Basic Chicken Soup Recipe:

  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can whole beans
  • ½ can black olives (drained & sliced)
  • ¼ cup diced cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 -1 lime
  • Top with Tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream or plain yogurt

To Create Chicken Thai Soup

Add to the Basic Chicken Soup Recipe:

  • 1 15 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites and pale-greens thinly sliced,
  • dark greens sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 oz thin rice noodles
  • ¼ cup diced cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 -1 lime
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB fish sauce (optional)



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