Chicken noodle soup | foodsciencenerd.com

Sick and Slushy: Chicken Noodle Soup

Posted on Posted in Nutrition Information, Recipes

So, my roommate, my boyfriend, and I are all sick.  And a lovely slush mixture is coming out of the sky.  Happy Valentine’s Day to us…

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Steamy, delicious soup

Anyway, whenever I have a cold, I crave chicken noodle soup and orange juice.  And tea- lots of tea.  There is really no clinical evidence for OJ or chicken noodle soup… let’s go over those facts:

  • Hand washing is the only thing proven to actually reduce the frequency and duration of the common cold.  Plenty of sleep and regular exercise seem to help too.

  • The vitamin C in OJ can be found in most other produce, and in higher concentrations.  In fact, vitamin C is only effective in reducing the duration of colds if consumed every day as part of a healthy diet.  Same with zinc and most other micronutrients you may have heard about.

  • Drinking plenty of fluid can at least alleviate some symptoms, like cough and congestion, but probably doesn’t shorten the duration of a cold.  That’s where the tea comes in.

  • Chicken noodle soup has absolutely no evidence for aiding with colds.  What it does have going for it is fluid, vegetables, protein, and bland carbohydrates, which means it is a balanced meal that won’t sicken an upset stomach.  The steam may also help open clogged nasal passages.

  • Salt is the only flavor that has no smell, which means it is the only thing you can taste normally with a clogged nose.  I wouldn’t normally recommend consuming more sodium, but when nothing else is appetizing, the salt in the soup may make you want to eat.

  • As for exercise, follow the “neck rule”.  If your symptoms are above the neck (congestion, sleepiness, slight cough), go ahead and exercise at half your intensity and about 2/3 the time, unless symptoms worsen or you are just too fatigued.  If the symptoms are below the neck (heavy coughing, chest pains, nausea, fever), rest is more important and more helpful.

However, the placebo effect is a real thing, and in that way, OJ and chicken noodle soup can actually be healing.  But I’m really not a fan of canned chicken noodle soup, so I decided to undertake the giant task of making it.  Even though I was exhausted, I figured it’d be worth it.  So I made a lot.  Like 20 bowls full.  I’ll be eating this for a while.  Without even looking at any recipes, I somehow managed to make soup that tasted just like my mom’s.

Here’s the recipe:

  • Small onion, diced fine

  • 4 carrots, sliced

  • 4 stalks of celery, sliced

  • Bouillon cubes (about 7)- I like Wyler’s

  • Water (probably about 10 cups)

  • Fine spaghetti or angel hair, broken into 1-inch pieces (I used whole wheat, because I’m weird)

  • 5 frozen or fresh chicken tenderloins (I’d guess about 1.5 pounds)

  • Rosemary, pepper, onion salt, sage, thyme

  • Olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Put the chicken (frozen or fresh) on a pan lined with aluminum foil (who needs to do extra cleanup when they’re sick?).  Sprinkle generously with onion salt and a touch of rosemary.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until cooked through but not quite done.

  2. In a very large pot, cook the onions until they are clear in a tablespoon of olive oil.  I cook mine on very high heat to get a little browning.

  3. Add the carrots and celery and cook until fairly soft.  Sprinkle onion salt, pepper, sage, and thyme in to your taste.

  4. Pour in the water until the pot is almost full and bring to boiling.  Drop in the bouillon cubes and taste the soup once the cubes have dissolved.  Add more cubes if you deem it necessary.

  5. Add the noodles to the boiling soup and let cook.

  6. Once the chicken is cooked and slightly cooled, tear (or slice, if you are impatient) apart into bite-sized chunks.  Add to the soup as the noodles are almost done cooking.

  7. Adjust the seasonings to your taste and serve.

Suggested sides:  Tissues, saltines, lotion, hand sanitizer, tea, OJ, cough drops, blankets

Chicken noodle soup | foodsciencenerd.com
Soup and OJ- just what the doctor didn’t-order-because-there’s-no-evidence-to-back-it-up.

Hope that helps you feel better- take care of yourself this winter!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 3-4 quarts soup

Serving Size: 2 cups

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Small onion, diced fine
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 7 bouillon cubes
  • 10 cups water, approximately
  • 8 oz fine spaghetti or angel hair, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • Rosemary, pepper, onion salt, sage, thyme, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put the chicken on a pan lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle generously with onion salt and a touch of rosemary. Bake for about 20 minutes, until cooked through but not quite done, and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a very large pot, cook the onions until they are clear in a tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and cook until fairly soft. Sprinkle onion salt, pepper, sage, and thyme in to your taste.
  4. Pour in the water until the pot is almost full and bring to boiling. Drop in the bouillon cubes and taste the soup once the cubes have dissolved. Add more cubes if you deem it necessary.
  5. Add the noodles to the boiling soup and let cook.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked and slightly cooled, tear apart into bite-sized chunks. Add to the soup as the noodles are almost done cooking.
  7. Adjust the seasonings to your taste and serve.
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