Welcome back to Eat Healthy- Be Healthy, Little Red Hen’s weekly health blog. Every Monday we will share nutritious recipes, advice on living a healthy life, and the facts behind why this information can help you.
We have finally reached the perfect season for the classic comfort food, chicken noodle soup. Our Winner Wellness Wednesday program has a fantastic chicken noodle soup recipe to share with you. In case you didn’t know, this soul-soothing soup is incredibly nutritious. We will explain some of the reasons why.
Chicken Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5 thighs)
8 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium or use homemade stock
5 ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, while stirring the garlic around the pan, for about 1 minute.
Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Taste the soup, then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add 1 or more teaspoons of salt.
Submerge the chicken thighs into the soup so that the broth covers them. Bring the soup back to a low simmer, then partially cover the pot with a lid and cook, stirring a few times, until the chicken thighs are cooked through; about 20 minutes.
If, during this time, the broth seems low, add a splash more stock or a bit of water. Turn the heat to medium-low.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Stir the noodles into the soup and cook until done, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles used.
While the noodles cook, shred the chicken into strips or dice it into cubes. Slide the chicken back into the pot and then taste the soup once more for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, as needed.
Why is chicken noodle soup so healthy?
Chicken noodle soup is a good source of protein and other nutrients. It’s the kind of food that soothes you and energizes you when you are sick, and it tastes great. In addition to physical health benefits, the soup makes you feel good. This is partly because chicken contains tryptophan, a chemical that helps produce serotonin in your brain, making you feel content and comfortable.
Of course, the soothing warmth of chicken noodle soup also contributes to just how beloved and beneficial this soup is.