There is something so comforting about chicken noodle soup and it is also a wonderful, nourishing meal especially in wintertime when the sniffles take hold. This version contains the gut healing benefits of bone broth, immune boosting garlic and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory turmeric. Make it gluten/grain free by choosing rice/kelp noodles.
I usually make this soup for a Tuesday night dinner because Tuesdays I spend the day running between school drop off and pick up, reading groups and swimming lessons so I need something quick to fill hungry tummies when we get home in the afternoon. I start this soup the day or two before by making chicken bone broth so there is no need for store bought stock which usually contains yeast extract (which is a form of MSG) and is not nearly as nutritious as the homemade stuff. Although it is two plus days in the making, it really only takes about 10 minutes work on three different occasions.
Of course, you can make it any night you want but for ease of specifying the timeline I am going to give details for Tuesday night dinner!
Sunday night or Monday morning:
Pop your bone broth on. I use a slow cooker which keeps my stove free for other things.
Chicken bone broth
2 free range chicken carcasses (freeze yours when you make roast chook)
1 – 2 carrots
Celery, leek or onion
4 – 6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
A good sprinkle of celtic sea salt
Chop the veggies into a few large pieces and peel the garlic.
Put everything into the slow cooker.
Cover with filtered water.
Cook on low until ready to use (12 – 48 hrs).
You can make this and store in the fridge/freezer for a later date too.
Pour the bone broth through a colander/sieve to remove the bits and pieces. I use the colander first and then remove any extra small bits with a sieve.
Free range chicken thighs (I use about 12 – 16 so we have plenty of leftovers but use whatever works for your needs). You can use any cut of chicken but if you use drumsticks then you are left with bones in the soup (which is fine but a pain with kids I think).
2 carrots (chopped into large chunks)
2 sticks of celery (broken into a few pieces) or a piece of leek (or both!) – you can also use an onion cut in half.
4 – 6 cloves of garlic (peeled)
2 bay leaves
A good sprinkle of turmeric (optional but has many health benefits)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Noodles (optional) – you can use any that you like but check the ingredients to make sure there are no nasty additives. Rice noodles, vermicelli or kelp noodles work well. I use kelp noodles to keep it grain free or you could make veggie noodles too.
Put everything except the turmeric, salt and pepper into a large saucepan.
Top up with water so that the chicken is completely covered plus about 5 – 10 cm of extra liquid on top.
Sprinkle in the turmeric if using.
Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and scoop off the white foam that is on the top.
Cover and simmer for at least 2 hours. I leave mine for about 4 hours. The chicken should fall apart easily.
When ready to eat, season with salt and pepper.
Remove the veggies and bay leaves (unless you want to eat them with your soup which is fine too. I leave the carrots but take out the rest).
Rinse, and add noodles if using. I chop mine into small pieces with kitchen scissors.
Optional: when the soup has cooled slightly, add in some sauerkraut or even the juice from the sauerkraut if you want it disguised. This adds probiotics to the mix which makes the soup even healthier and further promotes gut healing.
If you find that the soup isn’t filling enough (I sometimes find that I am hungry quite soon after I eat this for lunch at work) or just want some extra nutrition then add in a couple of chopped up boiled eggs or you could poach an egg in the soup.
Freeze any leftovers for another meal. This easily feeds my family of 5 plus chicken for the kids lunch the next day and about 4 – 5 serves to keep in the freezer for hubby and I for work lunches. If your kids take thermoses to school this would be a lovely winter lunch.