Lemon and Honey and Tea- Aaaaah choo!
I have a statement to make and there is no nice way to say it: Allergy season is kicking my ass this year. Not only has it been kicking my ass, but it’s been doing so for well over a month now. Honestly, I’ve had enough- and I’m sure a lot of you have, too. So I’ve decided to share my coveted and secret chicken (noodle) soup recipe to you all. You deserve it.
When I was a kid- say around 6 or 7- I used to go hang out at my great-great-grandmother’s apartment in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. Yes, that was my great-great-grandmother! I absolutely loved spending time with her and I attribute my love and passion for cooking to her. We used to cook and bake and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. She taught me how to properly slice celery into perfectly translucent little ‘C’s. She taught me how to make chicken stock. She taught me how to care for and delicately handle coconut for her phenomenal coconut cream Easter eggs she would make every year. But most importantly, she taught me how to make chicken noodle soup.
This wasn’t just any chicken noodle soup; it was the type of soup that could end wars. Yes- that good. But most importantly, this soup was the ultimate comfort. We always made enough soup for me to take home and freeze about 4 tubs of it. We really made it count! Our soup was made with a carefully crafted homemade stock, but to be completely honest, I typically use organic chicken stock I grab from the store. Either I am too busy, too lazy or simply don’t have enough time to make my own stock the majority of the time I make it. If you slap this recipe on your Pinterest and save it for a rainy day or a nice cold winter day and you have the time- make it with your own stock. It’s worth it.
Now, let’s talk chicken- simply because it is such a crucial ingredient for our soup. There are two methods here: store bought cooked or whole, raw chicken. Of course, if you are making your own stock you will go the whole, raw chicken route. Depending on your taste: use white or dark meat. Me? I prefer white- I’m basic like that. However you decide to make chicken happen for your soup, know this: lemon pepper rotisserie chicken is a divine substitute for DIY chicken & stock. And it’s completely reasonable if you are practically on your death bed clinging to the hope that this soup will breathe life back into your body. Not that I’ve ever been there before…
Last point, and it’s an important one: this soup is spicy! You can omit the cayenne and keep it on the I-don’t-want-to-clear-out-my-sinuses-THAT-badly side. Or you can leave it and take your chances. Personally, I would rather endure the fiery cayenne and be able to breathe again. To each his own; you do you.
Now, I know that not everyone has the time, patience or will to go to great lengths for a bowl of soup- I totally get it. This recipe isn’t my grandmother’s recipe. It is an abridged version that you can make quickly without needing to buy a bunch of ingredients. You can pick things up from around the grocery store or use what you’ve got on-hand. The last thing you want to do when you’re feeling terrible, is to create more work for yourself. That being said, I think I’ve spent the required amount of time on words and stories that basically no one cares about before getting to the recipe. Am I right? ;-)
Not Your Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Servings: 2 giant bowls or 4 little bowls
1/2c carrots, sliced
1/2c celery, sliced
1/4c onions, sliced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced or run through a garlic press
1T olive oil
6c chicken stock
2c chicken, shredded or cubed
2c noodles/pasta, your choice (omit for Keto/low-carb)
2t freshly cracked black pepper
1t onion powder
In a large pot, heat the oil and sweat the carrots, onions and celery for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat for another 2 minutes. Add in the chicken, stock and seasonings. Bring to a boil. If you’re staying low-carb/Keto, your soup is ready! If you’re going the noodle route, add them in and boil, covered so you don’t lose that broth, until pasta is al dente. This will vary depending on the pasta you chose. Ladle into your favorite soup bowl and enjoy!