Below is my easiest, chock-full-o-health, 20-minute, from-scratch soup recipe. I know the ingredient list looks long, but honestly, most are pantry items and frozen vegetables are absolutely fine. When I was pregnant and nauseous all the time and lacked the energy to cook real meals, versions of this were on steady rotation.
PS - I also refer to this this as my MAN COLD soup recipe.
Basic Chicken – Vegetable Soup
Makes about 6 servings
6 cups water
1 tablespoon low sodium chicken base
1 carrot, peeled & diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 (15-ounce) can low sodium diced tomatoes with the juice
1 dried or fresh bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried marjoram (or your fave dried herb, I just really like marjoram with chicken)
1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion powder (you can skip this or saute raw, diced onion in the beginning before the liquid (not part of this recipe as a time saving measure) but I think dried onion is a great umami -ish ingredient)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast OR two boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 2-inch pieces (CHICKEN IS OPTIONAL, if you skip it, use the whole can of cannellini beans)
1 cup dried whole wheat pasta (I like this gamelli but use whatever is small or can be broken into bite-size pieces)
1 small or 1/2 large zucchini, diced
1 cup green beans, cut in 1-inch lengths (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I love the kind in the tube b/c it lasts forever in the fridge)
1/2 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (great northern or navy beans work too, feel free to use the whole can if you like beans)
2 giant handfuls fresh baby spinach or baby kale, OR 1 cup frozen spinach
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan or pecorino to serve, shaved
Lemon zest to serve (option)
1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the chicken base (or bouillon cube, or use chicken stock instead of water). Stir to dissolve. Add the carrot, celery, tomatoes, bay leaf, and marjoram and onion powder. Return to a boil. Add chicken and pasta and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 8 minutes or until pasta is almost, but not quite cooked. Remove one of the chicken pieces and check with meat thermometer (165-degrees).
2. maintaining a simmer, add the zucchini, green beans, tomato paste, cannellini beans, and spinach or kale and stir to combine. Cook 2-3 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve with about a tablespoon of cheese and a pinch of lemon zest if using.
3. Eat many evenings in a row or freeze for up to 6 months in an air tight container.
Share your chicken noddle soup variations in the comments and stay healthy this season!