The weather in Texas has finally gone completely mad. From the nineties we suddenly plummeted to the seventies. For the past four days, we’ve had cloudy skies, intermittent rain, and temperatures in the high sixties (!). This is totally unheard of, even in September; we usually don’t get out of the nineties until way later in the month. I couldn’t be happier. The summer heat had my soup making at a standstill. A rainy weekend and my beloved’s recent surgery have led to a period of nonstop soup production. There are quite a few soups coming soon to a blog near you.

Of course, when anyone around us is ailing, social custom dictates that we provide them with soup, most often chicken noodle. I didn’t start eating chicken noodle soup until I was in my late teens and I still feel good about my choice. Canned chicken noodle soup is pretty much always a sad venture, oversalted and flavorless at the same time. I maintain now and until forever—the only way to really eat chicken noodle soup is to make it yourself. It’s a bit of work so if you’re sick, I recommend recruiting a loved one to do your dirty work. Or at least the dishes.

The original recipe includes detailed instructions for heart-shaped carrots. I think this is the cutest idea ever and as soon as I am more patient, I will totally do it. I do strongly recommend you check it out; it adds a loving touch to a warm soup. Ultimately, the flavor is so rich and the contents so satisfying, it’s great for what ails you.

Chicken Noodle Soup, adapted from Sophistimom

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced (or cut into shapes)

1 large shallot, diced

2 celery stalks, sliced into bite-size pieces

1 bay leaf

½ tsp dried tarragon

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried parsley

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

2-3 cups water

½ tsp white vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 large chicken breasts

4-6 oz. whole wheat linguine

In a medium pot over medium high heat, boil water with about ½ tsp salt. Add chicken breasts and boil about 8-10 minutes, until a thermometer in the center reads 180. Remove chicken and let cool for about five minutes .Shred with 2 forks and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, with about 1 tsp of salt in the water, until al dente. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, combine olive oil, carrots, shallot, celery, tarragon, basil, garlic powder, parsley, and bay leaf. Sprinkle with salt and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Add in stock, 1 cup of water, and vinegar, the bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then add pasta and chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm (particularly on a cold day)

 -April