Here at the table people are dropping like flies. Life is a little sad when you come home from the doctor and say, “Great news! It’s not strep.” And mean it. It is a fever of about 103, stuffy nose, achy body, sore throat, general ugh. We are calling it September Crud. We are all passing it back and forth (sharing is caring and all that) despite the constant Lysoling and bleaching of every GD thing in the house. Sorry I have had this for about a week on top of that whole dental issue I mentioned before, and now I’m bitter. So I have actually been doing a lot of easy to prepare comfort meals this past week and thought I’d share some with you.
First I’ll need to introduce you to my bestie in the kitchen. My Crockpot. She’s awesome, I get her going in the morning and she just cooks away all day while I’m at work, hot meal ready when I get home. I actually own 3 Crockpots (each is a different size) but the one I like best was a gift from my former mother-in-law (awesome lady btw). It is a Crockpot with a removable cooking bowl, which means easier cleaning and dishwasher safe! I try to avoid not dishwasher safe stuff in the same manner I avoid dry-clean-only clothes. Now the removable cooking bowl is actually 3 bowls. So this one Crockpot can be a 2 quart, a 4 quart, and a 6 quart, depending on what I am cooking, very cool. She not only has the traditional high/low/off settings, there is a setting for each sized bowl and a warm setting, which is nice for buffet style serving.
Now that you’ve been introduced, I will give you directions for making Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup. (Cause that’s the first thing I think to cook when people are sick) Who doesn’t, though, right?
You will need:
Crockpot that will hold at least 6 quarts (we are not making 6 quarts of soup, but you need the space for stirring, etc)
2 very large (think larger than an adult hand or two of my hands) or 3 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
About 1/2 a celery bunch
1/2 medium yellow onion
About 1 pound baby carrots
Egg Noodles (medium-sized)
To start: (If planning on eating for lunch begin the night before, if soup will be for supper, begin in the morning prior to 9 am)
*Note: If you are not a morning person (like me who totally doesn’t want to ever do anything pre 10am, well, much less sick)You can dice all veggies and store them in a Ziploc baggie in the fridge the night before, then just empty the baggie in the am.*
Dice into tiny pieces celery and onion then toss in the Crockpot.
*Tip: Adding these at this point makes them all but disappear by the time you are eating this soup, which means fewer “Ew, what is that?” kind of commentary at your table.*
*Onions will release less sulfur (which is what makes you cry) if they are very cold. Put the onion in the freezer for 30 minutes before cutting and you can avoid shedding any tears.*
Cut each baby carrot into thirds and add to Crockpot.
Dice chicken breasts and add to Crockpot.
Fill broth box 1/2 full with water, add to Crockpot.
Sprinkle enough paprika to thinly cover top of broth.
Repeat with Seasoned salt.
Add a pinch of black pepper. (If you decide later you want more, add it to taste after the chicken is fully cooked)
Place 2 tablespoons of rosemary either in palm of hand or in mortar and pestle. Crush (to break it down & release flavor better) before adding to Crockpot.
Set on low cooking setting with the lid on. Then leave alone.
To finish: (this will need to cook about 30 minutes before you can eat it)
Give everything a good stir. (it will look closer to a thin stew than soup at this point)
*If you wanted to freeze your soup concentrate for later, this is when you should do that.*
Add 5 cups of water.
Add about 2 cups of egg noodles. (If you want more noodles that will be fine, just make sure to add equal water and noodle amounts after what is mentioned here)
Stir so that noodles are fully submerged.
Replace lid and turn setting to high.
Enjoy your soup!