Chicken Noodle Soup

So, once again, I survived finals. I think all of us were just stunned at what a difference being “done” makes. It’s incredibly what finals does to my peers and me. I never feel more neurotic than during finals season. I literally go through Post-it flags/tabs like it’s my job. As our final exams approached, it became increasingly evident that we hadn’t really learned much in a couple of our courses, and it was pretty hilarious to see the level of freakout coupled with the hopelessnes-turned-to-apathy that characterized our study sessions. Whatever it is, exams are over, and I have never been happier to say I am done with the school year! I’ve moved on to my internship–another reason for my absence–which promises to be both interesting and a lot of work. Here’s to a productive summer!

Anyway, DC weather, as usual, was pretty gross throughout the end of the semester. The only thing more depressing than studying for exams has to be studying for exams when it is rainy outside. Makes it doubly depressing. As a result, I found myself craving  soup.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of chicken soup–mostly because I feel like you tend to get a lot of broth, a lot of noodles, and not much else. But my friend Merey has a recipe to die for. It’s incredibly simple and full of flavor. And it’s perfect for blustery, rainy days.

Here’s hoping you find as much comfort in this as I did during exams. Happy eating!

The Shell Family’s Chicken Noodle Soup
The original recipe omits mushrooms, but I had some on hand–so I used them. If you are not going to eat all of the soup right away, Merey suggests cooking the pasta separately and adding it in later. Otherwise, it’ll absorb most of the broth as it sits overnight which, depending on how you like your soup, is generally a bad thing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1½ cups diced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 64 oz broth–I used half chicken and half vegetable broth
  • 8 to 10 oz dried egg noodles
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • In a large stock pot, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until just cooked through — about 6 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and set aside.

  • To the same pot, add the butter. Once melted, throw in your onions and celery, scraping up any of the brown bits lefts by the chicken. Once the onions and celery have started to soften–roughly 5 minutes–add in your mushrooms. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until tender.

  • While the vegetables are cooking, use your fingers or a fork to shred the chicken into strips.
  • Once the vegetables are tender, add the carrots, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, broth, and shredded chicken. If you intend to serve the entire pot of soup now, add in the egg noodles as well. Otherwise, boil some water in a small pot on the side and cook them separately.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2o minutes.

  • If you cooked your noodles separately, add some to your bowl, then pour in broth and vegetables.
  • Serve warm with some crusty bread.

Serves 5-7.

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