March 25, 2014

Chicken Soup for Nasty Cold Extermination

Poor little M2 has a nasty cold, complete with slight fever, non-stop running nose, red eyes, cough and other icky things. She's been super cranky, whiny, fussy and in need of cuddles. She's generously shared it with Mama and it's only a matter of time before Daddy falls ill with the nasty ick as well.

What do we do in our house when there's a cold raging rampant? Have lots of low-sugar, high-vitamin C juice (something M2 doesn't get much otherwise) and...make homemade chicken noodle soup! This also means making enough to last a few days as you can't have chicken noodle soup just once when you're sick. You have to eat it a few days in a row so that all it's magic properties can take hold and drive the germs right out.

Chicken noodle soup is actually easy to make, it's not at all time consuming or scary like it may sound. it's quick and easy enough that it's handy when you're sick yourself and don't feel much like cooking. Leftovers mean that there's a few days you won't have to cook at all.

A full pot for plenty of leftovers.

I make a few different versions, the best starting with a whole chicken that I bake, have a meal from, then use the leftovers for the soup. Today, I did the easier version.

3 large chicken breasts, chopped into smallish pieces
2 large cartons of low sodium chicken broth
1 16oz bag of frozen peas and carrots
Part bag of frozen onion pieces
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
16 oz box of your choice of noodles--I used wheat rotini this time
Parsley flakes, celery flakes and salt-free bouillon to taste

Be sure to chop the chicken and potatoes on separate board with different knives to avoid the whole cross-contamination thing. The chopping and peeling take the most time.

Dump all above ingredients into a slow cooker and cook it on high for 7 hours. Mine has a setting for 4/6/8 or 10 hours, I set it to 4 and then after 4 hours reset it for that again (it goes to the warm setting once the time expires). You don't have to cook it that long or that high, I just like to be sure everything is well-done when it comes to meat for M2. As long as it's all cooked, you're good!
Cooking on high, lid on.

In the pot, nice and hot! Ready to eat. Mmm.

About a half hour before dinner, I cooked the noodles in a pasta pan. TIP: While you can cook the noodles in the soup by adding them right at the end, I've found that they get mushy in the leftovers. Hence having the noodles separate.

Once your noodles are done, drain as usual. Add however much you'd like to the bottom of a bowl, ladle up some soup and put it over the noodles--voila! Homemade chicken noodle soup! Simple bread and butter makes a nice side. Really, you don't have to add anything to it as it's a one-pot meal.

M2's bowl, sans noodles (she ate those separately).

Put any leftovers in individual containers, let them cool, then stick them in the fridge for the upcoming sick days. If you want an extra-large batch, you can add more of all the ingredients and cook it all day on low in a large stock pot. Any leftovers you're not going to use in a few days can easily be frozen for later.

What are your go-to recipes when your family is sick?

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  1. ALWAYS homemade chicken soup!!!

    1. It's the best! :) Baby was even drinking the broth out of a bottle lol


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