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Friday, March 5, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup


Before I moved to California I tried to comprehend how it would be even possible to be sick here. Arching blue skies, layered clouds stretching off into the distance, the constant ebb of the ocean, a fresh, smooth air billowing with life. No, no smog here in Santa Monica. But it happens, we have gray days, sometimes the outlines of far off buildings are smudged with haze, maybe even the heavy clouds will oblige us with some rain. And sometimes you get sick. But there's always Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup. Or vodka. either one.

The thing that really racks me is that I'm not even sure I've been sick this week. Fatigue, stuffy/drippy nose complete with nasally intonation. You know, that general "I don't feeeeel good" response that other people don't understand when they ask "what are your symptoms?" The really annoying part about this is that I think I've been knocked on my butt by the outdoors. TREES. Invisible buds of some kind. Treacherous spores catching a sinister ride on that fresh, smooth air. Yeah, it's billowing with life alright. Flora particles attempting to infiltrate my airways! That's right, allergies. This intense cold may actually be debilitating allergies. Which really has me all turned around because I fell prey to allergies during the Fall back in Massachusetts - but I'm not entirely sure seasons happen or if any time has actually passed at all since I've moved here so it could be Fall and They're just lying to us. How can you tell without leaves or snow falling?

Why do we eat soup when we're sick? Why is Chicken Noodle Soup the "cure"? I have no idea. Personally, I've always responded to a good shot of vodka taken at the first hint of sickness symptoms. Usually knocks it right out. But I suppose it has something to do with wanting fresh, clean, uncomplicated foods when you're feeling sickly. I'm strictly a dry cereal, toast, plain noodle, cracker sort of sick person - so even Chicken Noodle Soup is pushing it a little. But since Alex is a supreme caregiver to those wallowing on the couch and perking up only for Lost, he whipped up some of that old remedy and I'll share it with you. Does it cure sickness? Who knows, but there's vitamins and whatnot in there so it can't hurt. And it's yummy...and because really, my food intake has been pretty lame this week otherwise.

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Bone in Chicken Breast (we use this because it makes for a much more intense flavor, better stock, excellent nutrition from the bone marrow and provides essential fats (yes! FATS! GOOD fats! You NEED them, don't argue.) If you REALLY don't want to you can use boneless, skinless. Your soup.)
  • 6 Large Carrots - coined 
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion - finely chopped
  • 1-2 Celery Stakes - chopped
  • 1-2 Potatoes - cubed
  • 1/3 Garlic Clove - very finely chopped
  • Water Chestnut (optional)
  • Basil
  • Vinegar - apple cider, white wine or white balsamic
  • 4 cups Organic, Free Range Chicken Broth (we use Imagine Foods - it's Gluten Free)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 8 Dry Ounces Pasta (or more if you prefer) like Tinkyada (it's about half the bag)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

Remove the skin of the chicken (unless you're using skinless) and rub with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the chicken into the bottom of your crock pot. Toss in all your chopped veggies. Pour in 4 cups chicken broth, 1 cup water and a dash of vinegar. Shake in basil and other spices as desired.

Cook on High for 3 - 4 hours.

At about 3 hours - pull out your chicken and pull the bone out - it will be tender enough to do so. Shred the chicken into soup - sized pieces and return to crock pot.

20 minutes before serving, cook up your pasta al dente for about 8 to 9 minutes using the usual stovetop method. When done, place noodles into the crock pot for the remaining 10 minutes or so. I hesitate to cook the pasta in the crock pot with the soup because the last time I did that the noodles disintigrated. It was a very thick soup - but noodle-less, so that's no good. Experiment as you will!

Servings: about 4 good helpings.


  1. This soup looks wonderful, Jessica. I was just telling my fiance I want some broth based soup.

  2. Thanks Stella! It's not very often (for me) but sometimes soup just hits the spot :)

  3. Why do you put in Vinegar - apple cider, white wine or white balsamic? I never thought of putting that in chicken soup.

  4. Flavor, baby! Chicken soup deals with a lot of savory elements and the acidic vinegar brightens the whole palate of the dish. Ever notice on cooking challenge shows the chefs often add in an acid or citrus of some kind? Same theory is at work here. We couldn't live without white balsamic!

  5. Next time I make chicken soup I will try some white balsamic:)

    You should make a hardcover cookbook full of all your recipes;)

  6. If I'm going to store the soup for a few days, I usually put a whole onion in the soup, then take it out. The onion used to break down in the soup. I also add lots of fresh parsley too to the soup:)

  7. Hey Anon 1! I use white balsamic in many things, it's my go-to ingredient, hope you like it! And what a sweet thing to say! I have plans for a book in the future, not sure when or what - but hopefully something tasty!

    Great tip Anon 2! So many yummy things belong in soup :) Thanks for stopping by!


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