Dive into a bowl of comforting tradition with our savory chicken noodle soup—every spoonful feels like a warm embrace.
- Stalks of Celery: Celery adds a pleasant, earthy, and slightly peppery flavor to the soup. It’s also a good source of vitamins and antioxidants, contributing to the overall healthiness of the dish.
- Carrot: Carrots bring sweetness and vibrant color to the soup. They are rich in beta-carotene, which is excellent for eye health and provides a subtle sweetness to the broth.
- Onion: Onions provide a savory, aromatic base for the soup. They add depth of flavor and are known for their potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.
- Fresh Thyme or Dry Thyme: Thyme contributes a subtle earthy and aromatic note to the soup. It’s also known for its potential health benefits, including antimicrobial properties.
- Salt, Black Pepper, Chili Powder: These seasonings are essential for balancing and enhancing the flavors of the soup, providing a pleasant kick of heat if you choose to use chili powder.
- Olive Oil (or Butter): Olive oil adds a hint of richness to the soup, while butter provides a classic, comforting flavor. Both options contain heart-healthy fats.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds a touch of umami and depth to the broth. It also contains antioxidants like lycopene, known for its potential health benefits.
- Homemade Chicken Broth: Homemade chicken broth serves as the flavorful foundation of the soup. It’s packed with nutrients, including collagen and amino acids, which can promote joint health and boost the immune system. However, if you’re short on time and don’t have homemade stock in your freezer, a good-quality store-bought chicken broth can be a useful and handy substitute.
- Noodles of Your Choice (Egg Noodles): Noodles are a comforting addition to chicken noodle soup. Egg noodles, in particular, contribute a rich, hearty flavor and a pleasing texture to the dish.
Flavor and Protein
- Shredded Cooked Chicken Breast: The star protein of the soup, chicken breast, adds a satisfying, lean protein element. It’s a great source of essential nutrients like protein and vitamins.
- Chopped Parsley: Fresh parsley brightens the soup’s fresh, herbaceous flavor. It’s a source of vitamins and antioxidants.
These ingredients work harmoniously to create a flavorful, comforting, nourishing bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. Each component adds its unique taste and contributes to the overall healthiness of the dish.
Shredding Your Chicken
Shredding chicken, instead of cutting it, gives the soup a more rustic and homestyle feel. It also allows the chicken to mix better with the broth and other ingredients, ensuring the flavors meld seamlessly. The texture of shredded chicken is also often preferred in soups, providing a more pleasing mouthfeel.
How to Shred Chicken for Soup:
- Cooked Chicken: Ensure your chicken is thoroughly cooked. It’s easier to shred chicken that’s still warm. If you’re using leftover chicken or chicken that has been refrigerated, you might want to warm it slightly.
- Two Forks Method: Place the chicken breast on a cutting board or in a large bowl. Hold one fork in each hand to pull the meat apart. The chicken should be shredded in small, thin pieces. Continue the process until you’ve shredded the entire piece of chicken.
- Hand Method: Once the chicken is cooled enough to handle but still warm, use your fingers to pull apart the meat, shredding it into small pieces. This method often results in the most rustic-looking shreds.
- Mixer Method: If you have a lot of chicken to shred, you can use a stand or hand mixer. Place the cooked chicken breasts in a mixing bowl and use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer (or regular beaters on a hand mixer) on low speed to break the chicken into shreds. Be cautious not to overdo it, or you might end up with chicken paste!
- Storage: If you’re not using the shredded chicken immediately, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
The Best Vegetables for Your Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is more than just a comfort dish; it can be a bowl of nourishment and healing. While the foundation often rests on the tried-and-true trio of celery, carrots, and onions, there’s ample space for so much more.
Looking to boost the health quotient of your soup? Add healing greens like spinach, kale, or Swiss chard. These leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, turning your soup into a veritable powerhouse of nutrition. And if you’re aiming for a touch of sweetness combined with an extra dose of vitamins, sweet potatoes are a delightful addition.
With every spoonful, embrace the combined flavors of tradition and health, making your chicken noodle soup the perfect blend of taste and wellness.
I would love to hear your experience!
Did you add a twist to this classic? Share your unique modifications in the comments below; I would love to hear your take!