10/26/16

Kicking the crud: Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup



The change in the seasons seems to often bring about sicknesses. Where I live, we have been enjoying fall for a few weeks now, but recently we went through quite a rainy period and the temperature has dropped significantly. These kinds of weather changes practically taunt our bodies into getting sick, meaning that it is indeed that time of year: soup weather.

I must admit that I have a love/hate relationship with soup. I'm fairly picky about the soups that I like and there are plenty that I just do not (pretty much anything with a beef broth is likely to fail with me). I have however, always been a fan of homemade chicken noodle soup. It started with the soup that my grandmother on my mother's side used to make. She was always to the rescue with her Italian style chicken soup. My mom carried on that tradition, and this soup is very much inspired by that soup. The tomatoes are definitely a nod to it and it's become that I expect tomatoes in chicken soup now.




The broth-y goodness of chicken soup is often enough to make it a staple for when you are feeling under the weather, but I wanted to kick it up a notch with this soup and fill it with immune boosting goodies. There are the usual suspects, like carrots, celery and garlic... as well as some perhaps unusual additions like turmeric and cayenne pepper, which gives the soup a nice little kick to help kick the crud, without being too overwhelming.

Oh... and while soup making can often take quite a bit of time with all the prep involved, here's a helpful tip that can cut your time down a bit: rotisserie chicken. Rotisserie chicken means you don't have to fuss around with cooking your own chicken, and you get that nice tender and juicy rotisserie taste!



Immune Boosting Chicken Noodle Soup (Gluten-Free) 
(Italian portion style)

Ingredients: 

A Rotisserie chicken
5-6 carrots (more or less to taste)
2 medium sized onions
4 stalks celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
a small piece of ginger
1 32 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes
3 32oz cartons of chicken broth
4 cups of water
ground turmeric - 2 tablespoons
ground cayenne pepper -1 teaspoon
Himalayan pink salt - to taste
fresh ground pepper - to taste
thyme - 1 & 1/2 tablespoons
parsley - 2 tablespoons
oregano - 3 tablespoons
juice of one lemon
a little olive oil 

Process: 

  • Start by chopping up your onion and celery and sautéing it with some olive oil in the bottom of your pan. Add the Himalayan pink salt and some cracked black pepper. You don't have to cook the veg completely, but you want them to soften so they'll cook better in your soup. Once they're semi-soft, you can add in your garlic to sauté a bit. 
  • Add the broth and water to your pot (I used a stock pot) and lower your heat to a medium low. 
  • Chop up your carrots and ginger and add to the broth - stir. 
  • Add your thyme, oregano, parsley, cayenne pepper and turmeric and stir to incorporate. 
  • Take your can of tomatoes and drain into a strainer over the sink. With your hands, gently squeeze the tomatoes to break them apart.** Add them to your soup and stir. 
  • Let the soup simmer (lid off) while you break apart the chicken, during which you can check on the soup to make sure its not on too high, or burning. Stirring occasionally. You can just shred the chicken with your hands, or chop it into similar sized pieces. Use the darker meat, or go with all white meat - this is entirely up to you. I personally use as much of the chicken as I can. Not all rotisserie chickens are created equal and some are better meat wise than others! Once all the chicken is prepped, add it to your soup! 
  • Let the soup simmer for about an hour or so, stirring on occasion. This is usually when I give it a taste to see if I want to add anything to it spice wise. This is also when I usually add more garlic. I love garlic. 
  • After about an hour - more if you've got the time and/or patience, you can add the juice of one lemon and stir. 
  • When you are ready to eat, or about twenty minutes before, you can add about two cups of gluten-free pasta*** directly to your soup. Once the noodles are cooked to your liking, it's time to mangia! 

** I say gently, and in the sink so that you do not get tomato juice all over yourself. They WILL squirt, and it can be detrimental!! You've been warned! :)

*** I would have used gluten-free egg noodles but the store closest to me did not carry them. I had googled and saw that Manischewitz carried some and when I asked where they had that brand, I was told they don't carry any Jewish foods. Hmpf. Seriously?! I mean, seriously?!?!

Whether you're trying to combat the sickness, or just craving a warm soup on a cold fall day, this soup is perfect. I'd love to know if you make this soup and any variations you make alone the way so please feel free to share in the comments! 


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