No need to cook this homemade soup for hours - it can be on the table in just 15 minutes. For variety, in place of the noodles, substitute chicken-, mushroom-, or cheese-filled tortellini or ravioli. Cook in the soup for about 6 minutes, or according to package instructions. Since these products are more filling than noodles, you may want to reduce the amount of chicken. For a lighter soup, substitute orzo pasta for the egg noodles.
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 carrots, cut into 1/8-inch slices
¼ c. coarsely chopped onion
6 c. chicken broth
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken halves, cut into 3-inch by 1-inch strips
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced (including green tops)
2 tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme, or ½ tsp. dried
¼ tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
2 c. wide egg noodles (3 ounces)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the carrots are crisp-tender and the onion is translucent and not browned.
Add the chicken broth; increase the heat to high.
When the broth comes to a boil, stir in the remaining ingredients. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the noodles are tender.
Remove the bay leaf and adjust the seasonings to taste.
This soup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 2 days.
YIELD: 4 servings