Having a sick husband is near the top of my list of things I could live without. I love him, bless his heart, but at those times he is my P.S. (Pain in the Stern/hubby). I understand the cold is making him feel bad, but I don’t want to hear about it every 10 minutes. I think sick spouses should take long naps. Often. Out of my hearing range.
I will however make him some chicken soup if he’s ill. I will wipe down every cupboard, countertop and the fridge after he’s made himself a sandwich with his germy hands, and make a good pot of soup for dinner. I’m not totally unfeeling! Let’s just not tell him I’d planned to make a chicken noodle soup with fresh asparagus for supper anyway.
After thawing two frozen chicken breasts, I cut them into large cubes and sautéed them in a large nonstick skillet with a little oil.
I added half an onion I’d diced and sautéed a few minutes more.
In a large soup pot I poured 6 cups of chicken stock and added the chicken and onion after sautéing. I brought the pot to a boil over medium high heat as I chopped the rest of the vegetables.
I chopped 3 carrots since they were rather small, then 3 ribs of celery. I added them to the pot of soup and turned it down to medium to bubble away for about 20 minutes. I added a teaspoon of garlic powder and ½ teaspoon of pepper for seasoning, omitting salt because I’d used processed chicken broth.
While I waited for my carrots to be fork tender, I chopped up half a small head of cabbage I had leftover in the fridge. Do you end up with extra cabbage after making a recipe? I often do and usually chip away at it until it’s either gone or gone bad. I liked to shred a little for fish tacos or chop it for soups. Almost any kind of soup is great with the addition of cabbage.
Once my carrots were tender, I added the cabbage and let it cook another 5 minutes, until it was bubbling and the cabbage was sufficiently wilted. We don’t want crunch left in it, we want it fairly soft.
I stirred in half a pound of asparagus that I’d snapped the ends off and cut into 1” pieces. I didn’t want the asparagus to cook long; just about as long as the angel hair pasta I added next..
They’d both soften more as they sat in the broth. I wanted just a bit of texture left in the asparagus and I didn’t want the pasta to get mushy.
I turned the heat up to medium high and when the soup was bubbling again, I added half a box (6 ounces) of angel hair pasta. I’d broken it into thirds, so the pieces were about 3” long. Usually I like to use linguine so it’s more akin to the noodles in canned soups, but I was out of linguine.
Then I did the final step that is my favorite: I put in two eggs. I beat the eggs with a fork and poured them into the soup pot as I stirred it. It’s like egg drop soup, but in chicken noodle soup. It’s an acquired taste maybe; my family has loved it since I invented it in the 80s. Or so I told them. It just adds a touch more flavor to the soup.
Now it was ready to serve. I plated it in large bowls and served the soup with garlic toast to dip in the broth. That’s always a welcome thing when you have a cold. Handling a spoonful of hot broth when you’re feeling icky and shaky isn’t always easy. Dipping toast is the solution.
I loved the flavors of the soup. I’d specifically wanted to use fresh asparagus in a soup and there aren’t so many recipes out there besides pureed soups. I love pureed asparagus soup, but wanted more of a chunky chicken soup. This was certainly the answer!
My P.S. ate all his soup, and the toast, and didn’t say much. I think that was a good sign. Then he went back to bed. That was a better sign. I hope he’s over it soon. I will, however, freeze some soup for when I end up with his horrible cold. That usually happens.
Chicken Noodle Soup with Asparagus
6 cups chicken broth
2 carrots; thinly sliced
2 ribs celery; thinly sliced
1/2 onion; diced
2 large chicken breasts; cubed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cabbage; chopped
6 ounces dried angel hair pasta; snapped in thirds to 3” piecs
1/2# aspargus; ends snapped, cut into 1″ pieces
2 eggs; beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
angel hair pasta; snapped into 2″ pieces
Add chicken broth to a large soup pot and put on the stove on medium high. Add the sliced carrots and celery.
In a large nonstick skillet sauté the chicken and onions until the onions are translucent. Add to the soup pot. Add garlic powder and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 – 20 minutes until carrots are fork tender.
Add chopped cabbage and cook 5 minutes until lettuce is softened.
Bring pot to bubbling boil and add pasta and asparagus. Cook 3-4 minutes.
Pour beaten eggs into soup while stirring. Shut off heat. Let soup sit 10 minutes and serve.