Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Easy Noodle Chicken Soup

It’s my favorite time of year! The shadows grow long, sooner in the day, as the sun departs earlier and its visits grow shorter still.  Along with the leaves, the atmosphere is changing and people are beginning to prepare for the holidays and cool weather ahead.  We are breaking out our coats, long pants, and sweaters.  We are looking for lost gloves (in pairs and singles), and getting ready to adorn our necks with scarves, homemade and store bought.  Many of us also have a craving for something warm in our bellies—some sustenance to get us through these long shadowy days and premature nights.  It’s time to break out the soups!  

Honestly, I eat soup all year round, but I feel more justified doing so in the cooler months, like fall and winter—for obvious, practical reasons.  This recipe is a relatively simple recipe you can either eat fresh or make in advance and serve later.  It stores great in the refrigerator and undoubtedly tastes better after it has had an entire night to marinate in its own juices!

This recipe is compliments of a Romanian friend of ours, Florentina.  Apparently, in Romania they have an aversion to using measuring spoons...  It took a little bit of painful effort to figure out this recipe because she uses, what I like to call, the eyeball method.  So for her, it isn't an exact science.  

Easy Noodle Chicken Soup

·       15 Cups Water
·       4 Chicken Breasts – cubed
·       1 large Onion – chopped
·       3 Carrots – sliced
·       2 Celery Stalks – slice
·       2 large Tomatoes – cubed
·       1 large Potato – small cubes
·       ½ Green Pepper – chopped
·       Handful of Parsley – half for before and half for after
·       1 Cup Whole Grain Spaghetti – broken into 2 inch size noodles (In half apx. 2x)
·       1–4oz. can Tomato Sauce
·       Salt and Pepper to taste

·       Bring Water, Chicken, and Onion to a boil
·       Reduce heat and simmer at a low boil for 10-15 minutes.
·       Add Carrots, Celery, Tomatoes, Potato, Green Pepper, and half the Parsley and simmer for 10 minutes.
·       Add Spaghetti noodles and simmer for another 5 minutes
·       Add Tomato Sauce and simmer for a remaining 5 minutes
·       Salt and Pepper to taste
·       Garnish with remaining Parsley 

You can use whatever noodles you like.  Homemade are obviously best.  However, I have given up on making my own noodles after several failed attempts…. It was quite a debacle actually.  Also, I served this with a whole grain baguette.

9.5 = Taste (5 from me and 4.5 from my husband)
5 = Ingredient Availability – available anywhere!
5 = Prep Time (easy to make and very little time)
5 = Cost – all very inexpensive items

24.5 out of 25 – Knock your socks off!

5 = Family Bonus – My entire family loved this recipe.  The clean their plates kind of loved it (even Jarris, my 14 year old)!

I haven't figured out if I like it so much because of the flavor or if I am in love with the simplicity of it... Perhaps a little of both.  Either way, I had so much extra time on my hands that I was able to referee half a dozen household arguments, help Parker with his homework AND write this blog post...  Hope you enjoy it!  

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