What did you dress up as for Halloween? I was the sick lady on the couch. (The timing wasn’t so terrible—Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday anyway.) But I think I’m finally on the mend. Thanks, in part, to my homemade chicken noodle soup. When I woke up Saturday morning feeling like my brain was filled with sand the only thing I could think of was getting some chicken soup in my body and the kind that comes in the can wasn’t going to cut it.
I mustered just enough energy to pick up ingredients at Whole Foods, and spent the rest of the day mustering up just enough energy to make it. My patience paid off and Saturday evening while most people were slipping into their Black Swan or Borat costumes, I tied on my apron and got to work slicing and dicing. (FYI, cutting onions works wonders for clearing the sinuses.)
Just like my minestrone, my chicken soup comes out slightly different every time I make it. Now that I’m on a lacitano kale kick, I added two bunches to the soup, hopeful that the antioxidants would blast this bug out of my system. I’ve never actually added noodles to chicken noodle soup before, but it seemed like the right thing to do (go figure). So I grabbed what I had on hand—whole-wheat spaghetti—and broke it carefully into pieces inside the pot. (That’s a lie—I broke it way above the pot and shards went flying. Let’s just say Remy and Pippa (my dogs) did a little trick or treating of their own and I learned my lesson about breaking pasta.)
When the soup was finished, I helped myself to a heaping bowl, finished a movie (Soul Surfer, if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it along with The Tourist and Secretariat, the other movies I watched this weekend) and tucked myself into bed long before most people made it to their first party. I may not have piles of candy lying around my house, but I have plenty of chicken noodle soup. This year, that’ll have to do.
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped (white part only)
5 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
8 cups chicken broth
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
Fistful of whole-wheat spaghetti (I didn’t measure—it was about a quarter of a package)
2 bunches lacitano kale, stems removed & cut into bite-sized pieces
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded off the bone
Black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add onion and sautee until fragrant. Add leek, carrot, and celery and sautee until they soften (about 5 to 10 minutes). Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Return to a boil and add spaghetti, breaking it carefully inside the pot, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add kale and chicken and cook until kale wilts. Serve into bowls and season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. (I’ve found that this is more flavorful than adding the pepper to the pot—I also didn’t need any salt.)