Hello! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine consisted of babysitting my 7-year-old nephew, being sick and eating a yummy lunch at Lawrence’s mom’s house. I wish I ran, but I was definitely not feeling great and needed the rest. Next weekend I’ll be back at it!
So, slight change of pace. Let’s talk soup. Soup is one of my favorite meals, especially in the wintertime. It’s warm, comforting, savory and a good way to sneak a crap ton of veggies into your diet. There’s one problem though – the sodium levels in soup (whether you make it yourself or buy it from a store) can easily reach astronomical levels. Do those veggies really feel guilt-free if they’re doused in salt? I don’t think so.
That’s where this Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup comes in. Thanks to the flavorful chicken bones used in the recipe, you don’t need to use canned chicken broth which is usually very salty. All you need is good, plain old water (and said bones). The usage of water in this recipe is one of my favorite things about it – you get to salt the soup as you go and as you prefer, versus hoping the chicken broth you picked up isn’t too salty. Plus, it’s cheaper to use the stuff that comes out of your tap!
I found this recipe on Budget Bytes, which is a fantastic resource for home cooks. The blog is home to a seemingly endless reserve of cheap and easy breakfast, bread, dessert, dinner, international and slow cooker recipes… you name it, Budget Bytes has a recipe for it. Beth, the womanwoman behind the blog, even lists out the total cost of the recipe and the cost per serving, and her step-by-step photos are a force to be reckoned with. Seriously, check out Budget Bytes if you haven’t already!
Ok, the Budget Bytes ranting and raving is over. Here is the link to the recipe I followed, and I only changed two things: I used whole wheat rotini instead of egg noodles and I added fresh parsley.
Read on to learn how to make your very own low sodium (or high sodium, if that’s what you desire) chicken soup. Get ready to be comforted, my friends.
Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes (15 minutes prep time, 1 hour and 30 minutes cook time)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 4 large carrots, chopped
- ½ bunch celery, chopped
- 2 split chicken breast (bone-in)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 10-15 cranks cracked pepper
- 5 tablespoons salt (or to taste)
- 6 ounces whole wheat rotini pasta, uncooked
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Large pot
- Dice the onion. Begin cooking onion and garlic in a large pot over medium heat with olive oil.
- While the onion and garlic are sautéing, wash and slice the carrots and celery. Add them to the pot and continue to sauté.
- Pull the skin and any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Add the breasts to the pot along with the bay leaf, basil, parsley, thyme, and black pepper. Add eight cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour. Make sure the pot continues to simmer for the whole hour. If the heat is turned down too low and it is not bubbling away, the chicken will not shred easily.
- After an hour of simmering, remove the chicken from the pot. Using two forks, pull the meat from the bone and shred it slightly. Season the broth with salt. Begin with one teaspoon and add more to your liking. The flavor of the broth will pop once the salt is added.
- Add the uncooked rotini to the pot, turn the heat up to high, and boil the noodles until tender (about 7 minutes). Return the shredded chicken to the pot, add two more cups of water (to account for evaporation and absorption from the pasta), and add the fresh parsley. Taste and season again with salt if needed (I didn’t need to). Serve hot!
I hope you enjoy this healthier version of homemade chicken noodle soup! I know we did!
Have a great week!