Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheesy Hearty Herb Chicken Noodle Soup

MmMmMmm there's nothing that hits the spot more than cheesy hearty soup.

I constantly think about Mexican food, being that I grew up in a predominantly Mexican culture and was exposed to and ate many types of Mexican dishes.  The dish for inspiration in making this hearty soup was tortilla soup, a tomato based soup typically topped with tortilla chips and cheese.

My Mexican neighbors always cooked this soup, in hot and in cold weather... heck, they would still eat it even if they were in blazing hot weather, just to give you an idea of how much they loved it.

To my benefit, they were very giving (bless their hearts) and always shared their food with me and my family.  That fact that I've grown up with this soup is part of what makes me love it, but then again, if I were  introduced to it as an adult, I'm pretty sure I would love it just the same.

The potato and macaroni gave a little body to the soup and made for a nice mouth feel and the thyme infused within the soup so well and brought out the flavor of all of the other ingredients. A hint of spice, with a little sweetness and tang, this soup has everything going on.  It's like it's having it's own fiesta and I was invited.

So if you want to have a fiesta of your own, all you have to do is make this soup.  Toss in some tortilla chips and/or make a grilled cheese sandwich for more fun and action. hahaa. As always, enjoy!

4-5 servings; 23-30 min
1 tbsp oil
1lb chicken thighs cubed 1/2''
3 cloves garlic minced finely
1/4'' ginger minced finely or grated
1tsp salt
1tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1tsp dried parsley
6 cups water or chicken stock ( I used water)
5 sprigs fresh thyme tied with rope (IGA or MNIB)
1 small carrot shredded
1 small potato cubed 1/4''
1 cup frozen corn
1 1/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3/4 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp butter

Topping: sharp cheddar cheese and lime juice

1. Heat small pot over medium high heat. Add oil. Add chicken thighs in a single layer. don't stir. let cook for 2 min. until one side browns.
2. add garlic, ginger, and spices. stir for another 2 min.
3. Add water, herbs, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and corn. Stir and bring up to boil.
4. Add macaroni and bring heat back down to medium low heat.
5. occasionally stir to prevent macaroni sticking to pot. cook until macaroni is just cooked. ~25-20min
6. add butter and sugar. stir to dissolve. bring up to boil for another min or so. Turn heat off. scoop out bundle of herbs and dispose of it.
7. Serve in a big bowl and top with a splash of lime juice and shredded cheddar cheese. Butter toast, rolls, or cheese sandwiches pair well with this dish. Enjoy.

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