What are the chances that two completely different people, with somewhat varying ideas of comfort food, would both decide that Tuesday night was the perfect night for chicken noodle soup? Apparently, very high.
I had a mad hankering for something hearty, creamy, and full of veggies. And thankfully, so did my dining partner. So on my way home I grabbed a spattering of greens and things and of course, a whole package of newly, de-boned chicken thigh to make the perfect pot of low sodium soup.
As I headed to my kitchen, though, I realized that really, I had never made a true chicken soup before. Sure, I have dabbled in Matzoh balls and of course, I had a week-long syllabus in making low sodium broth. But I had never attempted to recreate the stuff I remember eating as a kid, when I had a horribly runny nose and needed some homemade food love.
But I do not consider myself a total chicken soup novice. For I have made chicken pot pie before, which I consider to be the slightly more mature cousin of the chicken noodle soup concept, just with a milkier broth and a doughy hat. So I decided to stick with what I know and combine the two recipes, mixing the creamy broth of the chicken pot pie with the traditional ingredients of a chicken noodle soup. Sans noodle. Sans crust. Just soup.
To tell you the truth…It. Was. Good! And I highly suggest this dish for any cold night or night with a cold. It takes a maximum of 45 minutes to make and almost everything can be done in one pot – although, cooking the chicken thigh separately will minimize the fatty greasiness that ends up in your broth. Also, as a note, I used fennel in place of celery as I prefer the taste, but you could really go either way.
This low sodium, creamy chicken (no noodle) soup is truly simple and extremely scrumptious. And if you want a little extra carbs, feel free to throw in some big noodles. Chow on.
(this recipe makes about 4-6 servings)
- 6 chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 bulb of fennel, chopped into 1/4 inch chunks
- 4 carrots, cut into rounds and then cut in half
- 5 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of Herb-Ox No Sodium Chicken Broth
- 4 yellow potatoes (like Yukon Gold), chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- ½ cup of mushrooms, chopped (I used oyster mushrooms, but any will do)
- 2 zucchinis, cut into rounds and then cut in half
- ¼ cup of cream
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of no salt added herb blend, like Herbs de Provence
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
- a few shakes of cinnamon
- a few shimmies of curry powder
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat in non-stick pan. When hot, add the chicken and allow to cook through, making sure to flip sides. Should take about 15 minutes.
2. While chicken is cooking, heat the other teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.
3. When oil is hot, add the garlic and the fennel. Allow to brown and soften for five minutes and remember to stir so that it doesn’t burn.
4. Add carrots, potatoes, water, and no salt added chicken broth to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
5. Once it is boiling for five minutes, reduce heat and allow to simmer. Add spices (black pepper, herbs, curry, and cinnamon) and jalapenos to the pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
6. At this point your chicken should be cooked, so remove from pan and let rest for 2-5 minutes. Then cut into thin slices or chunks.
7. Remove lid from the pot and add the zucchinis and mushrooms – they go in towards the end of the cooking process so that they are not overly mushy – as well as the chicken.
8. The stock most likely has reduced by 1/3 at this point. Take about 3-4 spoonfuls of the broth and put into a bowl. Mix with some cornstarch until smooth and then add back into the pot. This will thicken the stock.
9. Add the cream to the pot and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
10. Ladle into gigantic bistro bowls and serve. I also garnished with some toasted pumpkin seeds and extra mushrooms to be fancy. Some fresh herbs sprinkled on top (like chive or parsley) would also be very nice.