Do you usually have the energy to make dinner for yourself, let alone for the other 1-5+ people waiting for you to make it for them? If you’re like me, then no, no you do not have the energy (or want to…same thing). What if I told you with about 10 minutes before and after work you can make…oh…a bunch of dinners?! Do you have a crock pot? Of course I do! I’m lazy remember?! What’s easier than putting stuff in and pressing ‘on’? I know a can is pretty convenient, but there is a lot more you don’t want in that can…like BPA, MSG and the usual suspect-sodium. According to my list of MSG aliases, Progresso chicken noodle has at least 3 MSG monikers listed. I’ve also never cut myself using a crock pot vs. the can opener.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup*
- 8 cups water
- 3-4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3-4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2-3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 tsp pink salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white or black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Italian (or other mixed) seasoning
- 1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast (thawed)
The very last thing:
- 1/2-1 lb quinoa pagodas or other thick and/or funky noodle – cooked before serving
- In order of appearance place all of the ingredients, except the pasta, into a crock pot.
- Set the crock pot for a convenient time (8 hours = after work, etc.) and note that longer is better.
- 20 minutes before serving dinner, boil some water, and cook your noodles for the allotted time but leaving them a little al dente (firm) so they don’t over cook and become mushy in the hot soup broth.
- Pour all of your noodles in with the soup, or serve noodles individually for better noodle consistency when reheated (store remaining noodles and soup separately).
I won’t tell a soul that you put more effort into cleaning out your wallet than you did making dinner. Scouts honor.
*(sounds better than “Crock pot Chicken Noodle Soup.” sounds more homemade)
Carrot & Apple Soup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 3 medium leeks, chopped
- 1-2 shallots, sliced
- 1 1/2 lbs carrots, sliced (don’t peel ’em, waste of time)
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes, mint for garnish
- 1/4 tsp each: coriander, turmeric, sea salt, white pepper
- Heat oil in large saucepan on medium-high until hot. Saute onion, leek and shallots til translucent and slightly browned (10 mins).
- Add in carrots and apple. Cover pot, reduce heat to med-low and cook gently until vegetables give up most of their juices (8-10 mins).
- Add water, ginger, garlic. Cover and simmer on medium until carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes.
- Let soup sit, uncovered, about 20 minutes, to cool slightly. Puree soup in a blender or food processor, if necessary in two batches. (Blender makes a smoother soup, but a hand mixer yields very nice results as well.)
In my old life I made a Spicy Chicken Soup that was killer. In my new life, I made a better one! This soup can be vegan by excluding the chicken and it’s naturally gluten-free.
- 4 small organic free range chicken thighs
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Diced tomatoes, 29 oz; I like to get 2 small cans (14.5 oz)- adobo and fire roasted tomatoes
- Black beans, 15 oz can or 1 cup dried beans prepared
- Organic frozen corn, 1 lb
- 2 jalapeno, diced
- Mild enchilada sauce, 16 oz
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 3 cups water (or the broth from the chicken)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
- Optional: cultured organic sour cream
- Optional: Diced green chilies
- Optional: 1 cup cooked quinoa
- In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add onion. When the onions have sweated for a bit add the garlic.
- Once the onions have turned translucent add tomatoes, black beans (if you boiled your own, add at the end), corn, jalapenos, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chipotle chili powder and water. Simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- To cook the chicken, place thighs in a pan half-full of water. Add some garlic powder and pepper and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Once chicken is done, shred it and add to the completely cooked soup before serving. If you made quinoa and/or beans, add it right before serving as well.
- Top with some cilantro and sour cream (if you want to do that) and serve. You could also top with some organic corn chips and vegan cheese.
I love winter soups and I am so glad that I could share this with my foodie friends!
One cup of dried black beans gives you almost 60% of your daily fiber recommendation and 30% of your protein. Protein is great because contrary to popular understanding, it doesn’t matter where you get your protein from (beans or beef), just as long as you get some.