Have you ever gone to the store planning to buy a head of lettuce only to accidentally return home with a cabbage instead? There it sits on the counter, staring back at you. Daring you to figure out what to do with it. Of course there is the old stand by: cole slaw. But it’s a pretty big cabbage. (Big enough to be mistaken for a head of iceberg lettuce.) And that is more cole slaw than one person should have to eat.
Luckily, when this happened to me, I happened to have some leftover chicken thighs in the refrigerator. These left overs were waiting to become someone’s lunch, but they quickly morphed into The Chicken Soup Plan.
Okay, “plan” might be too strong of a word. I basically emptied my veggie crisper drawers of all the old celery, carrots, onions and parsley I could find. Grabbed a can of chicken broth and a box of noodles and waded into the fray.
• add 7 big glasses or tumblers of water to a stock pot. (my scientific use of “the tumbler method” is tried and true.
• pour in chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you are vegetarian) or toss in a few Bouillon (stock) cubes
• Add seasoning like salt and pepper and whatever else you like.
• cut up whatever veggies you have on hand into what I call “hearty chunks”
• Toss in 3 pre-cooked chicken thighs (obviously don’t do this part if you are vegetarian.)
• Bring it all to a slow boil for an hour or so; until the meat is falling off the bones.
• Collect the thighs from the soup and remove the bones, returning the meat to the pot.
• Add a half a box of macaroni or rotini, or whatever you have on hand (rice works well too)
• Cook for another 30 minutes or so.
That’s all there is to it. (if you would prefer a real recipe with actual measurements and such, check out this.) Now your kitchen and home is filled with the wonderful aroma of homemade soup and you have a nice warm meal for a cold evening. Unless you are inviting over your 20 to closest friends to join you, I recommend freezing at least half of the soup for later.