Welcome to Eat Your Food!, our biweekly column of real meals made for real kids by Nick Evans.
We are in soup season, which is both good and bad news for parents. The good news is that it’s easy to make fast, healthy soups that kids tend to like. I’ve found soup, especially chicken noodle soup, to be a reliable dinnertime win.
The bad news? If you have little kids, it’s especially messy. Do you even know how far a two-year old can launch a spoon of broth?! You don’t want to know!
EASY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Making an all-day chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy and chilly Saturday, but honestly, who has the time? (I used to have the time. But now I spend my time researching how to get Nutella out of the couch. Wait . . . is that Nutella?)
So, I won’t pretend that this weekday version of chicken noodle soup has the deep flavor of a long-simmered, homemade stock soup. But it’s on the table in 30 minutes, it has real ingredients, and it’s a surefire dinnertime winner during these cool days.
Using a rotisserie chicken means you don’t even have to poach chicken for the soup! And it also means you can make stock with the carcass for this soup—or the next day, for future soups or dishes that require it. Bonus!
Want to speed this recipe up even more? Pre-chop the veggies the night before and even cook the noodles in advance if you want. The recipe becomes an Octonauts recipe. One episode and dinner is done.
The DAD ADD: Poached Egg
I’ve always wondered why the Asian ramen tradition of serving soup with a soft poached egg never really caught on with American-style soups. Turns out there is no reason for this!
A soft-boiled egg perched on the edge of your soup is a beautiful thing and adds a welcome richness to this quick chicken noodle soup. The kids can have one too, of course, but mine wanted nothing to do with it.
The REPORT CARD
This recipe is an easy win, as I said. My kids ate it up, although in different ways. My almost four-year old ate it like an actual bowl of soup: everything in one bowl. He slurped the broth and scooped out the goodies. Bingo. Winner. High fives all around.
My 22-month old is more finicky and insists on dividing and conquering, a common kid requirement. So, she got a plate with noodles, chicken, veggies, and a bowl with just some of the broth. A few tablespoons will do the trick so that when she decides she is finished and flings it across the table, I have less to clean up. She tried a little bit of everything though, which is absolutely all you can ask for at the dinner table!
MORE KID-FRIENDLY MEALS!
Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup RecipePrint
For the soup:
- 8 ounces egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white onion, diced (1 medium)
- 1 cup celery, diced (about 2 stalks)
- 1 cup carrots, diced (2 medium carrots)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock, homemade or store bought
- 2 cups shredded chicken, from a store-bought rotisserie chicken
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, garnish
- Crackers, for serving
DAD ADD: Soft-boiled eggs
- 2 large eggs
1 Cook the noodles: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Strain and toss with butter.
2 Meanwhile, cook the veggies: In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and carrot. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until vegetables soften. Then add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute.
3 Simmer the stock and chicken: Add chicken stock and bring soup to a simmer. Stir in shredded chicken and simmer for a few minutes to combine flavors. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper.
4 Make the soft-boiled eggs (if using): Add 1/2-inch of water to a medium pot over high heat. Cover and bring to a rapid boil. Add the eggs and cover. The water will not completely cover the eggs. That’s okay. Return water to a rapid boil and cook eggs for 6 1/2 minutes.
Immediately remove the pot from the heat and remove lid. Run the pot under cold water for 30 seconds to stop the cooking.
5 Assemble the soup: Divide the egg noodles among the bowls and spoon in the soup. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel them carefully and slide them into the bowl on top of the soup. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with crackers.
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