Chicken noodle soup is the ultimate fixer. It comes in when you’re feeling your worst and warms you up, clears your very clogged sinuses, and makes you believe that maybe, one day, you’ll feel better again.
My mom used to make chicken soup for me and my siblings a lot when we were little. I remember it as a holiday dish because we often ate it for the Jewish holidays, but also, I remember it as a remedy to any cold or flu that I acquired. I was in awe of my mom’s ability to make something so medicinal and healing. I thought for a long time that she was making it the hard way, with a whole chicken in the pot.
Then about a year ago I got sick and I asked her for chicken noodle soup. She brought me some so quickly, it didn’t seem possible. “Did you use a whole chicken?” I said. She laughed. “No, I used rotisserie.”
This was a big shock to me, who believed for more than 30 years that my mom was using an ancient medicinal recipe for the soup that involved chopping up a whole chicken and soaking it in broth. After my initial disbelief, I felt empowered. “Yes,” I said to myself. “I can do this.” Plus, who has time to deal with a whole chicken when they’re sick anyway? I thought to myself.
Armed with this newfound confidence, I went to the grocery store when I got sick last week and bought a rotisserie chicken. I got a few stalks of celery, carrots, onion, wide egg noodles, and chicken broth. When I got home, I essentially threw everything into a pot and let it cook for a while, and then added chopped rotisserie chicken once the vegetables were soft enough and the egg noodles were cooked through.
I don’t want to say that this soup cured me, because it didn’t. However, it did play an instrumental role in helping me feel better. It helped me turn a corner at just the right time. I was starting to think that I’d be sick the rest of December.
I guess the moral of this story is, if you’re scared of making chicken noodle soup, know that there are shortcuts. You will still have delicious, healing soup at the end of the process and you’ll be no more sick or stressed for it. My boyfriend likes to make the soup completely from scratch when he’s sick, which I applaud, but I think he has an iron constitution. I become weak and needy when I have a lingering cold, so I need fast and easy relief.
Here’s a song to get you started on your chicken noodle soup journey. I found it last week after forgetting about it for years. I’d highly recommend playing it while cooking.
Stay tuned for a soup roundup post next week!
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
8 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups uncooked whole wheat egg noodles (about 4 ounces)
3 cups coarsely chopped rotisserie chicken
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium high heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and onions are tender, about five minutes.
Add the chicken broth and pepper to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the noodles. Cook for about 13 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Stir in the chopped chicken and heat through. Enjoy!