We are SOUP fans in this house! Of the homemade variety that is. Admittedly I keep some cans of soup for dire emergencies but 99.9% of the time if you are eating soup at my house it is something that has been infused with love and vegetables from the garden.
It’s been a really wet, cold season here in Southern California (I know, hard to believe) and that makes for two things 1) greens growing crazy in the garden, and 2) the need for hot soup. That and a loaf of homemade bread and I’m a happy camper.
This soup was inspired by the literal explosion of greens and herbs in the garden – parsley, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, thyme, and lettuces are all taking off in the crisp weather. Perfect for a healthy soup that takes off the winter chill and fills the belly.
You’ll find greens available year-round in the markets here, but it’s always so much FUN to stroll through your own garden and pick them when you need them. AND greens are incredibly easy to grow, I grow mine in containers, and in my home-designed hydroponic garden, just cut the leaves and they will continue to grow all season or longer. I have one swiss chard plant that is over two years old and still produces abundantly. Try it, there is a certain satisfaction in growing your own food. It’s a healthy hobby that you can share with friends and loved ones and the little ones in your family will really get a kick out of growing crops. Not to mention that you are embedding their little brains with a useful skill and a sense of accomplishment. My grandkids love to “help” and especially love to pick cherry tomatoes — from vine to mouth one after the other. Grow a garden!
Herbed Chicken Noodle Soup with Winter Greens
Makes 1 large pot – enough for six good-sized servings about 2 cups each
- 4 Cups Chicken Breast, diced (about 2 large)
- 1 Large Onion, diced (about 2 loose cups)
- 2 Stalks Celery diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic minced
- 3 Large Carrots chopped
- 1 Teaspoon fresh Rosemary, minced
- 1-2 Teaspoon fresh Thyme, minced
- 1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Minced
- 1.5 Quarts of Chicken Stock (if using broth, then use 3 Quarts of broth and skip the water as broth has less flavor than stock so using water will dilute it too much) *TIP, keep chicken bouillon stocked, you can make your stock with this and it is much more economical (and takes up much less storage space in your pantry)
- 1.5 Quarts of Water (if using stock – see above)
- 6 Cups Mixed Greens – Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale (about 6 – 8 ounces) roughly chopped
- 2 Cups Egg Noodles (I find egg noodles hold together better in the soup, especially if you plan on freezing it) Also, this makes for a noodle-packed soup, if you like less noodles and more broth use one cup
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
In a large soup pot, add the olive oil, heat, and then add the diced chicken. Lightly brown the chicken pieces and remove them from pot, set aside. Add the onions, celery and garlic to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the chicken back into the pot, the stock, the water and all seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and add the carrots, noodles and greens. Cover, and simmer until the noodles and carrots are tender, about 8 – 10 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper as desired. Depending on your stock, you may not need to add additional salt. Remove the soup from the heat and let set for about 10 minutes, then ladle into bowls. Top with a bit of fresh parsley if desired.