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Wholesome Chicken Noodle Soup (with Sweet Potato)

 

Yields:  about 8 -10 cups       Prep Time:  25 minutes       Total Time:  1 hour

 

Rich in vitamins A and C, and with additional vitamins and minerals from homemade stock, this soup is a winner.  Pureed sweet potatoes are added towards the end.  Undetected, they add extra nutrients and a hint of sweet richness to round out the soup.

 

Ingredients

2 medium carrots, diced (about 3/4 cup)

1 stalk of celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)

1 small white or yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 cup diced sweet potato

1 clove garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups broth (preferably homemade*)

3 cups water

(2 tablespoons butter if not using homemade stock)

1 chicken breast (about 3/4 pound)

1 teaspoon salt (more to taste if desired once soup is ready to serve)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

 

2 cups dry pasta of your choice

 

*For the stock:

I used about a 2-2 1/2 pound chicken.  I place the chicken in the crockpot, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of thyme and 3 cups of water.  Every crockpot is so very different, but I can cook a full chicken in about 4 hours. After we finish with the chicken, I use a strainer and strain out everything but the broth and store it in a glass dish (with a lid) in the freezer.  When I’m ready to make soup, I take it out and pop it right in after the veggies have sautéed.  I will note that sometimes a good skim of the fat off the top of the frozen broth is helpful.  Only 1 or 2 tablespoons is really necessarily to make it flavorful.  Any more than that, it just is a bit heavy.

 

Directions

1. Chop carrots, celery, onions and garlic.  Add to cooking pot on medium heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes until vegetables become translucent. 

 

2. Add raw chicken breast, whole, and let brown for an additional 3-5 minutes.

 

3. Add pepper, salt, thyme, water, broth (*if using frozen broth, simply use frozen and put right in the pot) and sweet potatoes (**if using pureed sweet potatoes, steam them right over the cooking soup, puree, and add in step 6 below).

 

4. Let soup come to a boil, stirring occasionally.  If using frozen stock, it may take a little longer than if using store-bought or defrosted stock. 

 

5. Add noodles (gluten free if desired) and remove cooked chicken breast.

 

6. While the noodles are cooking, shred the chicken with the forks creating shredded pieces, and place back in pot.

 

7. Once the noodles are cooked, let the soup simmer with all of the ingredients.  Serve and enjoy!

Chicken noodle soup is a favorite in our house, partially because even the youngest kiddos can partake with the family.  Whenever we go to a restaurant, chicken noodle soup is the first request, which is awesome because it is (usually) decently wholesome and can be chewed by those that are lacking in the dental department (and then they drink the broth)!  

 

This soup is simply amazing, enough said.  I am not tooting my own horn, but am just enamored with the wholesomeness of the soup – most of which is simply attributed to Mother Nature.  Homemade stock is really essential to this soup.  Of course, store bought stock is always available in a pinch, and sometimes that’s just the way it needs to be.  However, in every other circumstance, I strongly advocate the homemade broth.  It contains natural gelatin, which is rich in many nutrients and other benefits can be found here.  Additionally, the flavor is delicious.

 

Now for more on the nutrition front.  Carrots and celery are added and soft enough for even the youngest members of the family.  Pureed sweet potatoes add an extra element of rich texture and a hint of sweetness that combines well with the saltiness from the broth.  I originally started adding pureed sweet potatoes to plain broth when my kids weren’t feeling well.  The extra addition of vitamins A and C are so beneficial when the immune system is down.  With the cold weather coming, this soup enters in the weekly rotation without hesitation.  Sometimes, I would steam and puree cauliflower as well to mix right in the soup.  Both of these veggies are mild enough in flavor, but add a multitude of nutrients.

 

As my kiddos grow, they enjoy the whole (not pureed) sweet potato in the soup, so as the picture illustrates, you can also choose not to puree the sweet potatoes.  Either way, it works.  So, for all of these reasons, I come back full circle to my original statement; this soup is simply amazing!

 

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