Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

Meat is usually a tough sell for my kids unless it is in a nugget, burger, or meatball. This recipe provides protein from lean chicken breast meat and beans. The noodles are the superstar here. Lila and Deacon slurped noodles, eating some chicken and veggies in the process.

I make soup by adding a little of this and a little of that. Hopefully I've captured the recipe correctly for you. Feel free to change ingredients or add whatever your family likes.

Chicken Noodle Soup

2 split chicken breast halves on bone
olive oil, salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and cut to whatever size you like in soup
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups of navy beans (already soaked or canned)
10 cups of lowfat, low sodium chicken broth
8 oz of noodles – I used no yolk whole grain egg noodles
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put chicken breasts on a baking sheet and drizzle each with about a Tbsp of olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roast in oven until the meat reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer (I use a roasting thermometer that stays in the meat while it's in the oven). This took about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until you can handle it.
2.In the meantime, heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a soup pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft.
3.Add beans and broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots and beans soften (if using dried beans).
4.Add noodles, rosemary, and thyme, increase heat to medium high and boil for about 10 minutes or according to cooking time on noodles.
5.Remove skin and bone from chicken and shred meat. Add meat to soup, heat through and serve.

You can alter this recipe by adding more vegetables or leaving the beans out. I've found that my kids love beans, so they help sell the soup. Use whatever noodles or pasta you like – this would be a good place for a fun pasta like stars or alphabet shapes. Or you can use rice instead of pasta.

Today's tip: Skip the nuggets and serve chicken soup instead!

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