The Soup I Eat Every Week… An Easy Weeknight Meal

Before getting married, I prided myself on knowing all the best places to order takeout. If you needed ideas of where to get pretty much any kind of food, I was your girl. I would get home from work around 7:00 or 8:00pm each evening, and I would be starving. So, instead of spending time in the kitchen preparing a meal, I would stop somewhere on my way home and get takeout. Sushi, soup, salad, sandwiches, whatever. Not only would cooking probably have starved me to death, I really had no desire to do it anyway. That is, until I got married.

As soon as my husband and I got back from our honeymoon, it was like a light switch was turned on and suddenly I wanted to figure out how to make meals we could enjoy together. Plus we had like, no money, so it was either a home-cooked meal a la Chef Angela or yet another Famous Bowl from KFC.

Since having a baby, cooking just doesn’t happen as much as I would like anymore. Freezer recipes prepared on the weekend are now the norm. Or recipes that can be prepared quickly, in between diaper changing, preparing bottles, feeding and the other items in my new job description. Quick recipes often include my favorite cooking tool, the crock pot, or soups and such that require a simple dumping of ingredients and then allow you to walk away while the flavors marinate in deliciousness.

So, there’s this soup recipe… It’s easy to make and so good. I make it pretty much every week. Last night even. I have always loved soups – for as long as I can remember. My parents said when I was a toddler, my babysitter would feed me soup all the time and I have loved it ever since. The original recipe comes from Skinnytaste, one of my favorite sites but have adapted it each time I’ve made it, to basically incorporate whatever ingredients I have in the fridge and cupboard. I don’t even look at the original recipe anymore. It takes very little time to prepare and I can’t imagine how it could ever be messed up.

It’s called Chicken and Cavatelli Soup, but I just call it Chicken and Whatever Noodles I Have Soup.

The above pic is of the real version of the recipe. Dang, it’s good. Here is how you make my fake, yet still really good version:

  1. Melt some butter in a large pot.
  2. Add a clove of garlic (I usually buy those little glass containers of minced garlic and add anywhere between 1/2 teaspoon and a full teaspoon.)
  3. Add chopped onion, carrots and celery (I estimate – maybe one onion, two carrots and 2 stalks of celery? Play with it until it is to your liking. I try to make my soups pretty hearty because if I don’t my husband says they’re not filling enough.) Saute for a few minutes, until the veggies soften a bit.
  4. Add either one of those 32 oz cartons of chicken broth or a couple of cans of chicken broth.
  5. Turn heat down and let simmer. You are supposed to add a bay leaf which I do if I remember. When I forget, it still turns out good. Oh and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. In a separate pan, bring water to a boil and add noodles. I usually use orzo for this soup but I have also used macaroni noodles and small pasta shells. Again, whatever I have in the cupboard. I just make a handful or two and once soft, add to the soup.
  7. I also add a handful or two of chicken. My favorite way to make chicken is in the crockpot over the weekend by adding a few chicken breasts and a can of chicken broth. Cook on low 4-6 hours. You will know when the chicken is done because it will shred easily. Divide into zip lock freezer bags and store until you want to use them. For this recipe, I just grab a bag and add the chicken to the soup. Or, you could shred a rotisserie chicken. Truly, this soup is adaptable so just experiment with it.
  8. Taste test it and when you like the way it tastes, it’s done.

I will be making this soup for years to come. It is the perfect meal to bring someone who is sick or even a new mom (if you add bread and/or salad). I hope Ainsley likes it because she sure will be eating a lot of it one day.

Linking up with Eat, Drink & Be Mary, Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally and Southern Komfort Blog.

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