This has been a rough week for several reasons. After spending a long weekend on an amazing ski trip with friends, I wasn’t able to get on track with my normal weekly activities.
We returned home on Monday evening then returned to work on Tuesday. Every evening of the week, there was some after-work activity to run to – volunteer group meeting, work related late evening meeting, college basketball game tickets…thus I never made it to the grocery store. Luckily, I had a few things left over in the freezer to get us through the week food wise.
On top of having something to do every evening, one of my dogs got an upset stomach and threw up on me and in the bed in the middle of the night, I didn’t sleep well due to a headache another night, and then to top it off woke up with a stomach bug Saturday morning, all leading to being pretty exhausted. Needless to say, I also didn’t make it to my normal workouts this week.
After spending the entirety of Saturday lounging around (and staying close to the bathroom), I started to feel a bit better Sunday so decided to finally get out of the house and to the grocery store.
Whenever I’m not feeling well, I always crave my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup. However, no matter how many times I’ve attempted and gotten guidance from my mom, it never seems to turn out the same. I think she’s holding back some of her ingredients from me on purpose 😉 .
This time, instead of trying to mimic my mom’s soup, I decided to give it my own spin and throw in a few ingredients that are touted to help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. While I can’t speak to the science behind these claims, I can report that it was pretty yummy and hit the spot, which was welcomed for this very empty stomach! My husband, who claims not to like chicken noodle soup, even liked it, helping himself to a second bowl.
I used onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, oregano, cayenne, turmeric, and fresh lemon in this soup. All of these reportedly boost immunity, although I haven’t looked into the research to support that. Regardless, it can’t hurt, especially when it made for a really tasty end product!
Servings: 6 Total Time: 1.5 hrs
- 1 whole chicken, approx. 6 lb
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 C chicken broth, divided
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ rounds
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 8 oz kluski (egg) noodles, optional*
- 1 T garlic, diced
- 1 t ground ginger
- 1/2 t ground thyme
- 1/2 t ground oregano
- 1/2 t ground turmeric
- 1/8 t cayenne pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place the chicken, breast side down, along with 2 C broth and 2 bay leaves in pressure cooker. Lock lid in place and heat over high heat until rocker starts moving. Reduce heat to medium and cook chicken for approximately 35-40 minutes. Turn off heat and let pressure release naturally. Once the pressure is released, remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Remove bay leaves and discard. Pour broth into fat separator, such as this one. Allow to cool and reserve. Once the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and any visible fat. Roughly shred chicken meat with hands. I used mainly the white meat for this recipe (and let my hubby pick over the legs and thighs 🙂 )
- While chicken and broth cool, in a large stockpot, heat about 2 cups of broth over medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Add herbs/seasonings and remaining broth (fat removed). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Bring to a boil and add noodles and vegetables. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the shredded chicken. Just prior to serving, add the juice of one whole lemon
Notes: To save time, you could use a pre-bought rotisserie chicken. However, I find pressure cooking it the best way to keep it moist and delicious!
Next time I make this, I will probably try adding the juice of an additional lemon (2 in total) for even more lemony flavor. I may also try fresh ginger rather than dried.
To keep this lower carb, omit the noodles. It will still be plenty hearty and filling with all those vegetables and chicken!
350 total cal, 38g protein, 40g carb, 5g fat (including noodles)