Easy chicken noodle soup your whole family will love

Easy is good. Especially for families with a child on the autism spectrum. When the meal, in addition to easy, is also super-nutritious, hearty and child-friendly, we know we have a winner.

Our home-made, organic and gluten-free chicken noodle soup fulfill all of the above criteria. An added bonus is that it’s cheap to make, despite the organic ingredients. So it’s an all-round champion!

This soup is really a bi-product of other meals. It’s based on what’s left after we’ve cut up, organized, and frozen organic fresh chicken that we stock up on during our shopping trips to Costco every two months. (If you don’t like the thought of cutting up a raw chicken, there’s an even easier way to make the soup. Keep on reading!)

cutting-raw-chicken

When all the cutting is done, rather than scrapping the chicken carcasses, we use them for a simple broth. We let the bones simmer in a big pot with water for a couple of hours. Just like that. No salt or veggies at this point. We keep it simple. It seems like the right thing to do after all that cutting.

As a comforting, homey scent fills the kitchen, we feel good about making full use of the birds. A cloudy-looking, hearty bouillon will result from this cooking. We’ll put it to good use as the base for our “autism-friendly” version of chicken noodle soup. Gluten-free and mainly organic ingredients are used in this soup.

chicken-carcass-bouillon

We like to add a sliced carrot or two to the broth, and small pieces of chicken that we’ve carved out from the leftover bones. The star of this dish is of course the pasta. It’s what makes it child friendly. Our pasta “noodles” consist of organic, gluten-free spaghetti broken up into pieces.

organic-gf-noodles

If the broth seems a bit diluted when preparing the soup, we dissolve a store-bought, organic chicken bouillon cube into it. This will give it more “body”. And if we want a richer-tasting soup, we add some organic coconut milk. The only seasoning we use is salt, and we add it at the end.

Chicken noodle soup is said to relieve congestion and coat a sore throat. But why wait for a cold to enjoy this winter comfort food? It’s old-fashioned cooking from scratch at its best! Here’s how you prepare it:

Chicken broth:
– the bones from one or two uncooked, organic chickens
– 8-10 cups (2 – 2.5 liters) of water

 

1. Cover chicken carcass(es) with with water in a big pot. Bring to a boil, put the lid on the pot, and let simmer for two hours.
2. Using a sieve, separate the bones from the broth. Transfer the liquid to a new pot or container. Keep in the fridge for up to a week, or use immediately to make the soup.
3. Carve out any remaining meat from the chicken carcass and reserve for later use. Discard the rest of the bones.

 

Chicken noodle soup (4 servings)
– 6-8 cups (14-18 dl) chicken broth
– 1 – 1 1/2 cups (2.5 – 3.5 dl) of GF organic spaghetti broken into noodle-size pieces
– 1- 1 1/2 cups (2.5 – 3.5 dl) of your favourite organic vegetable, frozen or fresh, sliced (carrot, celery, broccoli, etc)
– small pieces of leftover chicken (optional)
– salt to taste

 

1. Bring broth to a simmer. If needed, give the broth more “body” by adding a cube of store-bought organic chicken bouillon.
2. Add the sliced vegetables and pasta to the broth. If the vegetables are frozen, they’ll need to cook for a minute or two on their own before adding the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package (normally 6 to 8 minutes).
3. Add the following optional ingredients when about 1 minute remains of the pasta’s cooking time: chicken pieces, coconut milk or other milk substitute.
4. Salt to taste (not too much, you can always add more later)
chicken-bouillon
If you don’t like the idea of handling an uncooked chicken carcass, this tip is for you. Dissolve a cube or two (depending on the quantity of soup you want) of store-bought chicken bouillon in hot water. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until everything is cooked. The flavour is not quite the same as when you use a chicken carcass, but it’s still nutritious and yummy. It’s the super-fast chicken noodle soup version!

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