Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemon and Herbs

Poor Fred!  My husband has been under the weather for a few days and he asked me to make him some chicken noodle soup on Thursday night.  I decided that chicken soup would be the perfect ending to another cold and rainy day, so I looked in my fridge to see what ingredients I had and here’s what I came up with…

Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemon and Herbs

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (or a half of a large), diced
3-4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cartons low-sodium chicken broth, 32-ounces each
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
¼ cup leaves from the tops of celery (optional)
1 small piece of a Parmesan cheese rind
1 small can of corn
¼ pound spaghetti noodles, broken into approximately 2 inch pieces, cooked and drained
Juice from ½ of a lemon
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place two chicken breasts in a baking dish and sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper, and Herbs de Provence.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.  Shred almost immediately and set aside. 

Bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to the instructions on the package until they are al dente, or firm.  Set aside when finished.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add carrots, onion, and celery and cook until soft, about five minutes.  Make sure you add a little kosher salt at this point.  Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a gentle boil.

Add rosemary, thyme, parsley, celery leaves (optional), bay leaf, corn, and cheese rind.  Let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.   

Add the shredded chicken to the soup and heat through.  

When ready, ladle into bowls and squeeze a small amount of fresh lemon juice over the top to give it a fresh, clean taste.

The finished bowl of soup!

Why Herbs de Provence?  This is a mixture of dried herbs used primarily in French cooking.  The herbs that generally make up this mixture include savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender.  The flavor of these spices is amazing on chicken or pork.  I recently found a nice jar of Herbs de Provence at my local Marshall’s in their kitchen department.  

Why Celery leaves?  Celery leaves (you know, the leaves at the top of a stalk of celery) can be used like an herb. They add a ton of extra flavor to soups and stews, and tend to sweeten when cooked.

Other notes:  A store-bought rotisserie chicken can be used in place of baking the chicken breasts in the oven.  Just buy, and shred!  Also, I like to keep my noodles separate and add them as needed. 

For dessert: It's that time of year again!  I had myself some Girl Scout cookies...one of each: a Thin Mint and a Peanut Butter Patty.  

This soup was relatively fast, easy, and simply delicious.



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