Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is there anything more comforting than chicken noodle soup?

I've been making lots of soup lately and I hardly ever measure anything and I don't use a recipe, so no two pots are ever the same. But, here's my basic method:

I first boil water and add bouillon cubes. For a while my soup seemed on the salty side and I wasn't sure why. I don't add salt. Sometimes I'd add garlic salt, so I cut that out. Then when I looked at the bouillon cube container to see that each cube contained about 1100 grams of sodium, I realized that was the problem. The directions say to add one cup of water for each bouillon cube and sometimes I'd add a little less thinking it would add flavor. Turns out it just makes it saltier. So on my last pot, I decided to try two cups of water per bouillon cube. Much better!!!

So, boil 10 cups of water and add 5 bouillon cubes. Then add about 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Of course you can add whatever pieces you like, but I only eat white meat, so that's why I do it this way. While that boils, cut up 3 celery sticks. I use baby carrots and cut up about a dozen. I add that to the pot and let it boil for about a half hour. I pull out the chicken and start shredding it and add the pasta - whatever is in the cabinet. It's usually noodles, but sometimes I have various shapes of pasta in the pantry and use whatever I have on hand and I usually put in too much. I always neglect to consider how much it will swell in the liquid. I'm not down with all the fancy names for pasta shapes. In this batch I used "bow tie" pasta. Toward the end I throw in some dried seasonings -- sometimes a sprinkle or two of basil, oregano or an Italian seasoning blend. Let it boil a little longer according the pasta directions. Throw the chicken back in just before serving. Yum!

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