A few years ago, my doctor asked me to go on a salt-free diet. Which wasn’t easy–you’d be shocked at how much salt is in seemingly innocuous pantry fare. Canned tomatoes: full of salt. Canned beans: full of salt. Frozen meals: full of salt.
And canned soup: FULL OF SALT. Cups and cups of it. Really, really bad.
I’m not a big soup eater, but every so often, a girl just needs a cup of chicken noodle soup. And so I came up with a recipe that is super easy and tastes really good, without the salt of canned soup. It also freezes beautifully, which makes it perfect to keep around the house for those I-feel-icky soup days. More on that in a moment.
To make healthy (really) chicken noodle soup, you’ll need:
1/2 lb chicken breasts (about two boneless, skinless breasts), diced (this is easier if it’s partially frozen)
1/2 cup carrot, diced small (running a knife through the shredded carrots at the salad bar works great)
1/4 cup celery, diced small (ditto for the salad bar)
1/2 medium onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp salt-free poultry seasoning (I get mine at http://www.thespicehunter.com)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cups no-salt-added chicken broth (that’s 1 1/2 cartons)
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 cup egg noodles
Coat the bottom of a large stockpot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once it’s hot (you’ll see ripples in the surface of the oil) add the onion, celery, and carrot, and stir those around until they start to soften–about five minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper and stir, and immediately add the chicken and 1 tsp poultry seasoning before the garlic burns.
Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until it’s starting to brown just a bit on the outside but don’t cook it through. Add the broth, water, remaining poultry seasoning, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Let that simmer about 15 minutes, or up to an hour.
Add the noodles. Cook for five minutes or until on the hard side of al dente and remove soup from heat. Fish out bay leaves and serve immediately or freeze.
I freeze this recipe for my in-laws regularly, putting it into individual serving containers and labeling those with the date. And it does really well–best of all, no salt!