The Lemonator and I have picked up some type of bug–mild but annoying–and have been feeling under the weather, so I decided that some soup was in order when I got back from class. I am always looking for variants on normal chicken noodle soup, which I often find overly bland or salty. This was completely improvised based on what I needed up use up from my fridge, but I was very happy with the end result. It had all of the warm comfort of chicken soup with a bit more color and character and texture.
I started by sauteing a bell pepper, a zucchini and an onion in a little olive oil. I seasoned the veggies, covered them equal parts chicken broth and water, added several sprigs of fresh thyme, and brought the mixture to a boil. When the broth was boiling, I added a cup or so of whole wheat rotini. When the rotini were nicely al dente, I lowered the heat, and added the juice of two lemons. If you like your noodles soft, you can cook them longer, but the chew of the rotini really takes the soup to another level for me. Last, I chopped up four leftover cooked chicken tenders and added them to the soup, cooking them just long enough to heat them through before serving. (Cooking the chicken for too long makes it very tough and dry.)
The finished soup tastes very clean, but is also very satisfying. The lemon and thyme are really refreshing and bright, and the vegetables and al dente rotini give the bowl just enough chew.
I am off to the library to get some more studying done. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!