I know that Chicken Noodle Soup is one of those meals that’s made when someone feels under the weather. But, I want to enjoy it any day. It’s just so good.
It starts with some chicken that’s cooked in a bit of olive oil. The skin gets all crispy and the inside tender and juicy. It takes a while, just be patient. Once the chicken is cooked, it rests for a bit, and gets cool enough to handle. And those crispy bits on the bottom of the pan, they’re on their way to make this soup simply divine.
A little butter and oil is added to that same pan. No washing out required. The bits at the bottom will loosen as you stir the veggies and help make the broth a deep, rich brown.
Back to the veggies for a sec – there are tons of ‘em. Fennel, carrots, kohlrabi, greens, cauliflower… and even more that you could add, depending on what you have on hand (check out the recipe for more). If you’re using this as an under the weather helper, it’s perfect because it’s packed with nutrients. If you’re not, well, it’s great for the same reason.
The veggies are cooked covered, for about 10 minutes. They just need to sweat it all out. No big deal.
Once they’re ready, the chicken, which has been shredded, is added, along with the stock.
I like to cook the pasta separately. I have a hard time making the right amount of food for just two of us, so this way I can save the leftovers for another day without worrying that the pasta will absorb all the liquid and become a soggy, mushy mess. If you’re going to eat it all in one sitting, feel free to cook the pasta in the soup (you may want to add a bit more stock).
The pasta is divided into the bowls and topped with some soup for a hearty and delicious meal.
- 2 T olive oil
- 3-4 chicken drumsticks (or 2-3 thighs, or 1 breast) (ending up with about 1-2 C cooked and shredded meat)
- to taste salt
- to taste pepper
- 1 T butter
- 1 t olive oil
- 1 C fennel (any part), chopped
- 1 C cauliflower, chopped
- 1 C carrot, chopped
- 1 C onion (or shallot or leek), chopped
- 1-2 C greens (kale, collard greens, chard etc), chopped
- 1/2 C turnip (or rutabaga), chopped
- 1/2 C radish, chopped
- 1/2 C kohlrabi, chopped
- (could also add celery, broccoli, parsnip, summer squash, bell pepper, peas, green beans, beets, asparagus, or mushrooms)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 t each dried (or 1/2 T fresh) rosemary, thyme, basil, and parsley (or replace all four with tarragon, dill, and parsley)
- pinch each cayenne, ginger, and paprika
- 6-8 C stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 C pasta (any kind)
- 1 T butter
- 1 T lemon juice
- lemon slices, for serving
- Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add 2 T olive oil. When oil is hot, add chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 30-35 minutes (for drumsticks), or until internal temperature reaches 180F, turning every 5 minutes or so.
- Remove chicken from soup pot and let cool slightly on a paper towel lined plate. Return soup pot to the heat, add 1 T butter and 1 t olive oil. Add fennel through kohlrabi, stir to scrape browned bits off the bottom of the pan, and cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom, about 1 minute.
- Add seasonings and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain.
- Remove soup from heat, stir in 1 T butter and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Divide pasta between 4 bowls and top with soup. Serve with a lemon wedge for squeezing.