Intro: [Collegiate Meals] Chicken Soup for the Healthy
Somehow... Somewhere.... Someone decided that chicken soup is for sick people.... you know, heal that cold, heal your soul, cure whatever might be lurking in these con fangled bodies of ours.
What if you're not sick? Well, here's the soup for you ;) Broth lovers need not read any further.
Step 1: Ingridients
Vary the following ingredients as per your taste
1 Chicken Bullion Cube per cup of water (or as per bullion directions)
OR Chicken Stock
Other Good Seasonings
Here's what I used
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Squash zucchini
4 Celery stalks
7 Green Onion shoots
4 Chicken Breasts
16 oz (1lb) Egg Noodles
17 oz Other Noodles
6 Bullions Cubes -- Enough water to fill pot (not exactly proper proportions)
.5 stick Butter
It's a lot of soup :)
Step 2: Prep and Begin Cooking
To speed things along, I prefer using two pots... The first to heat my stock and the second for the whole soup. So, start boiling your stock.
I am using four chicken breasts. Wash and trim away any fat and dry completely. In your soup pot, melt abut a half a stick of butter and add pepper over medium heat. Add your chicken breasts.
Chop your green onions - place in a small bowl.
Chop your squash zucchini and place in medium sized bowl - sprinkle with a little salt
This is probably a good time to flip your chicken breasts to brown the other side.
Chop your cauliflower - place on top of chopped zucchini and sprinkle with a little salt
Chop Carrots and celery - place on top of cauliflower and sprinkle with a little salt
At this time, your chicken should be about done. We're not looking to cook the chicken completely. Just to brown and render out some of the flavor for the next step. Remove the chicken and place in a bowl to cool a little.
Step 3: Cooking Continued
With the chicken out of the pot, raise the heat to medium high and add your onions. After about thirty seconds, add the rest of your vegetables.
Focusing your attentions to your somewhat cooked chicken. Cube your chicken. It might be a little hot - be careful. But remember, no pain no gain ;) Besides, a little bit of pain never hurt anyone (or something like that :P).
While cutting your chicken, occasionally stir your veggies. The idea is to cook your veggies before you introduce your stock... Faster soup ;)
In the time it takes to cut your chicken, your stock is probably boiling away. Now is a good time to add it to your soup pot followed by your cubed chicken once the soup returns to a boil (possibly immediatly).
Step 4: Cooking Continued... Again
Okay, now comes for a bit of good timing. I'm making a big batch of soup -- so I filled my pot nearer to the top.
I am using 27 noodle shapes. 26 of them require 16 minutes. Can you guess what has 26 noodle shapes? The alphabet (English)! Yes, we're making alphabet chicken soup in my apartment :P The noodle shape is an egg noodle required about 6-77 minutes of cook time.
Here's my cook schedule at a medium low heat:
10 minutes after chicken is added: Add alphabet noodles
10 minutes later: Add noodles
6-7 minutes later: Remove from heat
A note about cloudy chicken noodle soup. Cloudy soup is a result of proteins which, to the best of my knowledge, have denatured in solution. How does this happen? Too much heat and too much time. You don't want your chicken in your broth for more than 30-45 minutes and you never want to reach a rapid boil. A vigorous boil will also tear apart your veggies.
Step 5: Serving Suggestions
We enjoyed (most of us at least) this soup with bias cut French bread. It's also delicious with a sprinkle of your favorite hard cheese.
You'll notice how much stuff is in my soup.... More stuff, less broth - that's what healthy person chicken soup is all about.