This year our winter in the Northeast consists of arctic air from Canada and far too much snow! Somehow it does not seem fair to have wind chills of -20 degree fahrenheit (or -29 Celsius) and it still snows! Heavy sweaters are a must and driving with gloves is also imperative (I dislike driving with gloves). Of course it is still flu and cold season on top of the frigid weather! Comfort food becomes more important than ever and including a lot of healthy foods. Chicken soup is known for its healing properties and if you have a cold or are not feeling well, mothers will say “have a bowl of chicken soup!” Previously I did make a chicken soup that ended up being a chicken stew with so many noodles. It was really good but I wanted a more traditional version but yet with a lot of flavor and of course those healing properties. Click here for Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup (or stew when I make it!).
One does wonder if Chicken Noodle soup really helps you heal and boost your immune system or if its warmth is just comforting when one is sick. I ran across some interesting research from University of Nebraska Medical Center physician/researcher Stephen Rennard, M.D on a study conducted to test this theory. You can draw your own conclusion and below are a few links with more information.
If you enjoy reading research papers – below is the link to the paper:
Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro
Regardless of your conclusion on its health benefits, this recipe for Chicken Noodle soup is excellent! A lot of great flavor and it is the ultimate comfort food on a bitter cold winter day. If you are feeling a bit under the weather it would be comforting. I served it with some nice hot, crusty French bread.
The combination of the different vegetables adds a nice flavor to the broth and there are sweet undertones to this soup. Add some fresh parsley near the end of simmering the soup for a mellow and sweet flavor.
I adapted this wonderful soup from the original recipe based upon Grandma’s Recipe that was part of the original study. I like how the grandmother placed all the vegetables in a food processor to chop them finely so ensure all her children got their vegetables. A wise woman who even when money / food was short was creative to provide nutrients to her children. Doesn’t this soup look just delicious!! I love all the vegetables and colors.
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 cups Parsnips, chopped
1 ½ cups Turnips, chopped
2 cups Carrots, chopped
2 cups Butternut Squash, chopped
10 cups Chicken Broth
Freshly Ground Pepper
2 cups cooked Chicken, chopped (I use a rotisserie chicken)
2 Bay Leaves
Soup Noodles such as Filini pasta
About two handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large soup pan and saute the chopped onions for a few minutes. In the meantime start chopping your vegetables and add them to the soup pan as they are chopped. I like to let mine roast a bit in the soup pan before adding any liquids to start releasing their flavor.
Add chicken broth, chicken, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and a lot of basil. Let simmer for about an hour or so. Then add some freshly chopped parsley near the end of cooking and boil the soup noodles. I like to make them separately and add them to the soup as it is being served. Too many times I found that the noodles soaked up the broth when reheating the next day! Boil the amount of noodles you feel will be required including any leftovers. Store the cooked noodles in a small bowl with some chicken broth. When ready to serve, spoon the desired amount of noodles into a soup bowl, ladle in some soup, and top with more fresh parsley if desired. Serve with crusty French bread!