Recipes & Meal Swaps | Healthy Chicken Noodle & Vegetable Noodle Soups
Why is it that Chicken Noodle soup still holds in the ranks of best comfort foods AND one of the best foods for helping a sick body get better? It’s because it holds some of the best set of nutrients we can feed into our body when it needs it most. However, what many may not also know is that a good Vegetable Soup can do the same to helping us get healthy or… just taste so good for any mealtime.
Here are some of our favorite, and recently prepared, healthy soup favorites! Note that there’s a recipe below for all eaters here too… meat-eaters, vegetarian and vegan eaters! Bonne santé (in good health)!
Classic Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Better than what grandma made, we asked our chefs to add their spin to this recipe to make it even tastier and healthier than ever before.
Whole cut chicken or separate chicken pieces with bones still in (some prefer white, breast meat to dark, leg and thighs… your choice).
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed ahead to light brown color
1 bay leaf
1 cup egg noodles
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and/or pepper to taste
Put the chicken with bones or carcass from a leftover chicken (they can be in pieces) in a large pot. Cover with the broth and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Skim any foam from the broth with a ladle as necessary.
Remove the bones and carcass with tongs or a slotted spoon; set aside to cool. Add the carrots, celery, sautéed onion and bay leaf to the broth, bring back to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are about half cooked (they will still have resistance when tested with a knife but be somewhat pliable when bent), about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, when the carcass and bones are cool enough to handle, pick off the meat, and shred it into bite-size pieces.
Add the chicken pieces back to the soup mix and stir in the egg noodles (stirring keeps the noodles from sticking together or from the bottom), and cook until the noodles are just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the parsley, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and/or ¼ teaspoon of pepper or more of both to taste. Serve hot.
Best Healthy Vegetable (vegetarian & vegan*) Noodle Soup Recipe
To serve anyone’s palette, this vegetable soup recipe feeds everyone and is a great alternative to chicken soup for a healthy soup recipe:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 celery stalk, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1.2 cup frozen green peas
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 medium onion, about 1/2 cup (we prefer to sauté ahead of adding to soup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup orzo or other small pasta or egg noodles or broken up spaghetti*
4 cups vegetable broth (1-quart box, or 2 cans)
Small handful fresh parsley leaves, basil or dill, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add all the vegetables, garlic and onion. Season with the salt, and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until slightly toasted and golden, about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, covered, until pasta is just tender, about 8 minutes.
Stir in whatever herb you prefer and lemon juice. Season with pepper and additional salt, to taste.
*For Our Vegans – Pasta: Most packaged pasta—including spaghetti, orzo, rotini, and other types — are 100 percent vegan. To know for sure, simply check the ingredients on your package! Sometimes, you might see “egg” listed as an ingredient in “fresh” pastas, so avoid those—but generally, many pasta choices contains no animal-derived ingredients.
**Cook’s Notes - Other vegetables you can add to either soup recipes include: green beans, corn, mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, bean sprouts, chopped tomatoes.
Both of these healthy soups freeze well, so freeze any leftovers or make a double batch to have plenty on hand.
Also, we like to sautée our onions before adding into the soup mixture. The sautéed flavor adds an extra rich and slightly smokey taste to the soups.
Bonne année et bonne santé! - Have a happy new year and enjoy good health!