Wow I’ve missed blogging. Not only have I been incredibly busy the last week or so but when I got a new Mac Mini from my man Dan for Valentines Day my whole world of computers went topsy-turvy. Actually, it is still topsy-turvy! The problem is time – there isn’t enough of it. I need time to set it up and learn how to use it. Any of you have that problem? I’m happy to say, ” I’m heading in the right direction”. I’m totally happy to be writing my first post on my new Mac. I am familiar with the Mac system but this one is just a bit different. I am having funny with it!
I’ve not forgotten that it is soup month. We’ve been eating soup a couple of times each week and I have an easy and delicious bowl of comfort food for you today. Chicken Noodle Soup. With winter lingering and seasonal allergies, flu and colds rampant a steamy bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup far out weighs the canned variety on the grocers shelves. Around here a hot bowl full of tender chicken, carrots, noodles and rich broth is a cure for just about anything from a nasty cold to a broken heart.
The deal with me and chicken is that I can’t cook with chicken unless I buy the free range, no injection of broth or water, humanely treated chicken. That has not always been the case. A couple of years ago we were driving in downtown Dallas and were near a processing plant. Parked in the street, blocking our passing was one of those trucks loaded from top to bottom with cages of chickens, crammed in like sardines. Now, that was not the first time I’d seen one of those chicken carriers but on that day it bothered me immensely. I decided right that moment that I wouldn’t buy chicken from companies who treated their chickens like that and began to look for the “natural” chicken. Remarkably I’ve been able to find it at both grocery stores in my community. It tastes much fresher and cleaner, is juicier, and more expensive but I feel so much better eating it. We’ve also began to eat only wild game from Dan’s dad or grass-fed, humanely raised beef. I find a substantial difference in both the chicken and beef in taste and texture. In many homes or areas this is not breaking news, but up until now in my family I hadn’t searched out the natural meats or chicken. Many people in the community where I live don’t give a care about where their food comes from. Sadly, many of them think eating frozen meals, processed foods or fast foods is perfectly fine. When I think about a change like this that I choose to make, I often wonder if it’s wisdom at work. I like to think so. It’s never to late to change our eating habits for the better.
My recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup is in my noggin, so I’ll do my best to write it down for you. I doubt that you could do much to ruin it, so add your own flair if you like and put on a pot of real comfort food. It’s good for the soul.
Linda’s Chicken Noodle Soup
1 onion chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 peeled carrots, sliced
1 tsp. dried basil
2 large, natural boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
noodles of your choice, wide noodles, skinny noodles, little ears, bow-tie, or elbow
Place chicken breasts in a pot of water seasoned with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. When chicken is cooked through remove chicken from pot and allow to cool enough for handling. Cut the cooked chicken into cubes. Reserve water, skimming off any foam in case you need extra liquid later.
In a large pot heat the oil and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook until onion and celery become crisp tender. Stir in basil, being sure to crush it, alone with salt and pepper to your liking. We like more pepper than salt. Stir in cubed chicken. Add broth. Simmer soup long enough for the carrots to become tender. Bring soup to a gentle boil and add noodles. Simmer until noodles are tender. Be sure to add noodles close to the time you want to serve your soup to prevent them from soaking up too much liquid. Add more liquid or broth if needed.