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2011-03-01

Tasty Tuesday: R.R.'s Chicken Noodle Soup (Toad-style!)

Have you come across Rachael Ray's Yum-o! Cookbook? I like it because:

  • it has easy, quick recipes
  • there is a focus on healthier options (whole grains, less fat, etc.)
  • ingredients are easy to find and often on hand
  • she points out how the kids can help
  • some recipes are even kid-to-kid!
Like most kids in the ESDNL school district, my boys are home from school today, due to this weather (must be a good sign though - in like a lion, out like a lamb, right?). So, I suggested they help me choose a recipe for supper for us to make together in the PM. I figured this would be a good way to spend some of their free time, provide some bonding and use-up-your-energy-time, and as we can work in homework at other times throughout the day, they could be more involved in the preparation than they usually are on a weeknight. 

Toad wanted a Chicken Noodle Soup recipe; Mario was OK with it if he could just eat the chicken and veg as an entree and not be subjected to the evils of the broth... ummm, deal.

We opted for the Quick Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup (p. 98), as it looked like a good one for beginners (I have never made a soup from scratch. Oh yeah - my culinary skills are that bad). Toad wanted us to add peas & corn (I wonder where he gets that from ;-); and we opted to replace the egg noodles with the broken spaghetti idea she mentions a few pages on (p.104), just because it sounded fun. This recipe also has the added kid-pleasing factor of being topped with popcorn (!) - I don't know about your house, but in mine, popcorn is a fave after school snack!

So here it is: 

 Rachael Ray's Quick Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup (with our sneaky little modifications in parentheses.... you won't tell her, right? 'Cause I wouldn't want her to be offended, and I know you guys are close).:

Ingredients:
2 tbsp EVOO
5-6 celery ribs from the heart with leafy tops, chopped
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

8 c. chicken stock
1/2 lb extra wide egg noodles (we used broken spaghetti)
1 lb chicken tenders cut in bit size pieces (we used left-overs)
(we added 1 c frozen corn nibs)
(and 1c. frozen peas to mix it up ;-)

1/4 c. chopped fresh dill (we used 2 tsp dry)

2 c. plain popped popcorn for garnish (we also added shredded cheddar)

Method:
  • Heat EVOO in a large soup pot over med heat. Add celery, carrots, onions and bay leaf and season it with salt & pepper. Cook until veg are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add stock and bring to a boil, stir in the egg noodles (or broken spaghetti), and chicken (we added the frozen corn and peas here too). Simmer 5-6 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through if using raw).
  • Stir in the dill; turn off the heat. Discard the bay leaf. 
  • Ladle soup into bowls. Top with some popcorn for garnish (we even added some grated cheddar on top of that). 
How the kids can help (with supervision)  - break the spaghetti (mine loved this part); measure and pour ingredients; catch the bay leaf with tongs; pop the popcorn, even cut the veg if they are old enough! 

Did I mention it tastes delish? We can't wait for Daddy to get home to gobble it all up!

Enjoy :-)


PS - When he got home, DH told me he didn't like Chicken Soup .... in fact, his reaction was "What are the rest of us having?"... however, being a good sport, he tried it. And guess what? He loved it :-) Told me he'd like to have it again even. Woot!

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