Mr. Smarty Pants has the flu. He is preceded in this dubious honor by Miss Drama, who went down for the count on Saturday, dashing her expectations of attending the Shriner’s circus which was in town. Alas, the flu is known for its horrid timing.
Soup King and I both got flu shots. I attempted once to get them for the kiddos, but was turned away because they had too many people and too little time at the pharmacy. Life got busy and the flu won that little race. I expect Miss Diva to fall victim next. Despite my flu shot, my system is most certainly battling something. I’m not running a fever, but I’m currently the poster girl for Nyquil.
Add in that the weather has turned dreary and wet and what does that mean?
I’d tell you all about the one simmering on the stove as I type, but Soup King put that together. I suspect he preferred I not sneeze all over dinner. Instead, I shall divulge my recipe for chicken noodle and vegetable soup. Keep in mind I use that term loosely as soup is often a “use what you have” dish.
- 2 med-large onions, chopped
- 2-3 tsp of minced garlic or a couple of cloves of freshly chopped garlic (We like garlic, so I’m pretty sure I used at least a tbsp. Toss in as little or as much as you like.)
- 4 whole carrots peeled and chopped
- 4 baby bella mushrooms washed and sliced
- four stalks of celery sliced
- (optional) 1 bunch swiss chard or other green (I happened to have some chard and another green still in the garden. I think they are collards, but I wouldn’t swear by it)
- one whole chicken, cleaned
- 1/4 c. white wine (Feel free to use more. I probably would have used upwards of 1/2-1c, but ran out.)
- 20c water and equivalent bouillon or ready-made stock
- 1 tbsp (at least) basil (I use the freeze dried stuff as it has better flavor than regular dried.)
- 1 tsp thyme
- generous sprig of oregano from the garden (yep, it’s still alive) or about 1 tsp dried oregano
- pepper to taste
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1 bay leaf
- If needed, salt to taste
- 1 bag frozen peas
- 1 large family-sized bag of mixed veggies (I used Kroger’s key largo blend)
- 1 box Thai stir-fry rice noodles
Toss all of the fresh veggies in a BIG soup pot. Put the cleaned chicken in. Add the water, wine, and herbs. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for ~2hrs. The skin starts to split and the chicken begins to fall apart when it is thoroughly cooked. Lift the chicken out and set in a bowl to cool. Toss in the frozen veggies and let cook for another 5 min or so, followed by the rice noodles. You can turn the heat off. The soup is plenty hot enough at this point to cook the noodles. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull off the skin and discard, or feed to pleading little furry critters. Pull the chicken off the bone and shred or tear into large piece and toss back in the pot. The chicken should be very tender and come off the bone easily.
Done. It makes more than enough for two meals, for a family of five and maybe three meals if you aren’t feeding a voracious black hole. The rice noodles are starchier than wheat noodles, so the next day when re-heated the soup is more stew-like than soupy. You can add water if you like or just enjoy as is.