Food for the Soul

Autumn is here which means it’s soup season. If you need a comforting bowl of soup after a long day, look no further than these chicken soup recipes. Each one is simple to prepare, but has tons of flavor and is filling at the same time. They’re perfect any day of the week, but these versions of chicken soup are a sure bet when you’re feeling under the weather. No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to be happy.

1. QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

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If you need a bowl of chicken soup in no time flat, this is the recipe for you. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s delicious. What more could you possibly ask for?

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup carrots, sliced
½ cup celery, sliced
½ cup onion, diced
8 cups chicken broth
2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
3 cups egg noodles
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Cook the carrots, celery and onion over medium heat in the butter for about 5 minutes in a large pot. Add the chicken broth, chicken, noodles and all of the seasonings, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

2. CREAMY CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM SOUP

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If you love a creamy soup, this is the recipe for you. It’s packed full of delicious ingredients and all the flavor you love when it comes to having a great bowl of soup. The addition of mushrooms is delicious!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
220gm cooked chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3 minced garlic cloves
220gm thinly sliced mushrooms
1 diced onion
3 peeled and diced carrots
2 diced celery stalks
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
½ cup half and half
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 sprig rosemary

Directions:
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside. Add the butter to the pan and cook the garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the thyme and cook for another minute. Whisk in the flour for about 1 minute, the add the stock, bay leaf and the cooked chicken. Whisk the mixture constantly for about 5 minutes. Stir in the half and half and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

3. ASIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

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Want something totally different? This soup has an ethnic flair that makes it really stand out from the crowd. If you’re sick of the same old bowl of chicken noodle soup, this is a great alternative.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 stalks peeled fresh lemongrass
2 cups water
800ml chicken broth
1 pound chicken, cut into cubes
120gm angel hair pasta, uncooked
¼ cup freshly chopped coriander
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
2 thinly sliced green onions
1 finely chopped red chile pepper

Directions:
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and then add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Saute for about 3 minutes, then add the water and the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the chicken and the angel hair. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Discard lemongrass before serving.

4. SOUTHWESTERN CHICKEN SOUP

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Spice things up at mealtime with this delicious take on chicken soup. It’s great for dinner, but it also warms up well for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:
330gm salsa verde or tomato salsa
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into bite-size pieces
400gm canned cannellini beans, drained
1 cup corn
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 chopped green onions
½ cup sour cream
Corn chips

Directions:
Heat the salsa in a large soup pan for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, corn,  beans, chicken broth and cumin, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream and corn chips.

5. SLOW COOKER CHICKEN SOUP

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There’s nothing better than tossing a bunch of tasty ingredients into the slow cooker and having a yummy home-cooked meal at the end of the day. This recipe is great for busy days when you want a hot meal ready for you.

Ingredients:
8 cups water
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Put the water, the vegetables and the bay leaf in the slow cooker. Combine the salt, pepper and thyme and rub it over the chicken. Place in the slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low heat. Remove the chicken from the bones and return to the slow cooker. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve.

6. MOROCCAN CHICKEN AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

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This mouthwatering soup has everything going for it. Great ingredients, a filling consistency and a comforting feeling.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup onion, chopped
330gm chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup couscous, uncooked
¾ teaspoon salt
1 zucchini, quartered and diced
½ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons grated orange rind

Directions:
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 4 more minutes. Add cumin, cinnamon and pepper and cook 1 minute. Add the squash and tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer 8 minutes, then add the couscous, salt and zucchini. Cook 5 minutes. Add the basil and orange rind and serve.

7. SUPERFAST CHICKEN MEXICAN SOUP

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Known traditionally as poole, this is a Mexican inspired soup. With all the ingredients available now in NZ, you can create this authentic flavour quickly and easily.  This soup tastes so good that you’ll crave it all the time.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano,
¾ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 minced garlic cloves
220gm chopped onion and celery mix
Small can of tomatillos (Mexican green tomato)
1 420gm can hominy (Mexican corn), drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked and chopped chicken
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ avocado, diced
4 thinly sliced radishes
Coriander

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large pot and add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, garlic, onion and celery. Saute 2 minutes, then add the tomatillo and cook one minute. Add the broth and hominy and cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook for 8 minutes, then add the chicken and cook 1 more minute. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with avocado, radish and coriander.