Today is Election Day. Not just any election day either, but a presidential election that could drastically change America. No matter how you slice it, no matter who you are voting for, that is a pretty scary thought. A the beginning of the year, I couldn’t wait for today. It will all be over, I thought. But now the day is here and I admit I’m still scared. Whatever the results bring, a lot of people will be upset. I might even be pretty upset. But I can only worry about it so much.
In fact, I’m not supposed to worry about it at all.
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matt. 6:34)
I’ve done all I can. I have cast my vote, and I have prayed.
So, it is time to do what I can: spend time at the stove, nourishing those I love. Praying for our country while peeling carrots and sautéing onions. Distracting myself with the heavenly smell of roasting garlic.
I’m stepping away from the internet for just a bit, to make this Chicken Noodle Soup.
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 375, and place a pound of chicken in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Chop off the top of a head of garlic to expose the cloves, and nestle in the baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic, and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning at about 10 minutes.
Step 2. While the chicken is roasting, chop up some onions, carrots, and peppers. I prefer bell peppers in my chicken soup, rather than the traditional celery. I just like the taste better. If you’re a celery person though, you do you! Once everything is chopped and prepped, sauté the onions and carrots in a big soup pot on the stove. If someone in my house is sick, I have also been known to mince up another few cloves of garlic and sauté them with the onion.
Step 3. Once the onion and carrot are nice and soft, add the bell peppers and cook for a minute or so until they are soft too. Then, throw in the broth. You need about 8 cups of liquid. Sometimes I have homemade bone broth on hand, but that can be kind of bland as a soup base so if I use that I will do four cups of that and four cups of water with a boullion soup base. Also add some thyme, oregano, and a bay leaf, to further flavor the broth. Bring to a boil.
Step 4. When the chicken is cooked through, pull it out and let it rest and cool. Take the head of garlic and squeeze the cloves out and add them to the soup (be careful not to get any garlic paper in the soup!). Chop up the chicken into bite size pieces and throw them in too.
Step 5. When the soup returns to a boil, add the noodles. You can use pretty much any noodle that you you have on hand, i like smaller noodles like rotini. Be careful though – it is really easy to add too many noodles! You really only need a cup or two of the dry pasta. If you expect to have leftovers, its not a bad idea to cook the noodles separately and add them into each indivdual bowl so they don’t get soggy.
Step 6. When the noodles are cooked, its time for the secret ingredients that really make this soup killer. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon, and add two teaspoons of dill. Taste it to see if it needs anything else, then stir and serve!
I hope this is as comforting to you this election season as it is for me.
Best Ever Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 lb. chicken (breasts, tenderloins, or thighs)
- 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp oregano, divided
- A dash of salt and pepper
- 2 onions
- 3 large carrots
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 head of garlic
- 8 c broth (if using bouillon soup base, cut half with water)
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 c pasta
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp dill
- Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken in a glass baking pan, and drizzle with 1 1/2. Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp of oregano, salt and pepper. Chop off the top of the head of garlic and place in baking pan. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp olive oil onto the garlic, and roast the pan for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Flip chicken at around the 10 minute mark.
- While chicken is roasting, peel and dice carrots, and dice peppers and onion. In remaining olive oil, sauté onion and carrots in a heavy-bottomed soup pot until fork tender. Add peppers and sauté for a minute to soften, then add broth, thyme, 1/2 tsp oregano, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
- Chop chicken into bite size pieces, and add to pot. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of the head and into pot.
- When soup begins to boil, add pasta.
- When pasta is cooked, remove from heat and add lemon juice and dill. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, and serve immediately.