As the years go by and memories fade, there are things you distinctly remember from childhood. I think most children remember the times they were sick, whether it was a cold, a bellyache or something more severe. There was definitely more than once occasion I remember getting sick, but what is most vivid is my mom always taking care of me during those times. Whenever my brother, sister or myself were sick, my mom always sat up with us, caressed our hair and sang us the most beautiful Lebanese lullaby: Yalla Tnam Reema, which translates to "Go to Sleep Reema". The song is almost haunting to hear, a tune so connected to the one you love, the one you took care of you your whole life. That lullaby, some yansoon (anise tea) and chicken noodle soup. Those were the cures for any ailment. I can still smell the anise and hear my mom singing. Even now, she will do the same for my own kids.
Some days I wish I had as much patience as my mom did with all three of us growing up. She was and still is so loving, kind and nurturing. You know those parents that count down the days their kids leave to college? Or move out of the house? Yeah, that's not my mom. My mom is the exact opposite. She counts down the days until we come to visit, and I'd bet she'd take any of us in without question if we needed. She is the most selfless person I know, someone I admire for her strength, perseverance, acceptance to new things and bravery. Everything she does she does for the love of her family, her children and now grandchildren.
I can only hope that my kids look at me with awe and gratitude one day. I hope I can give my kids the love, attention, affection and support that my mom did and still does to me. So when I think of how to care for someone, I immediately go to food to nourish. Food is the way to our hearts whether we are healing from illness or learning to love. I hope you enjoy this chicken noodle soup recipe and it nourishes your soul and brings back memories of your childhood.
As always, I love seeing your creations, tag me on Instagram @CosettesKitchen or post on my Facebook Page.
|Prep Time||1 hour|
|Cook Time||3 hours|
- 1 whole chicken *or 4 large bone-in breasts
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- water to fill
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 large carrots, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 1 ¾ cups chicken
- ½ cup noodles thin egg noodle strands, orzo, alphabet
- 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place whole chicken in large stock pot.
- Fill pot with water to cover chicken.
- Add in your roughly chopped onion, garlic, bay leaves and cinnamon.
- Bring to boil then reduce to medium-low.
- Remove the fat that forms as the chicken boils by skimming with a large spoon.
- Allow mixture to cook for about 2 hours until chicken is tender and broth has formed.
- Remove chicken on large tray and take meat off, discard bones and skin.
- Strain broth to ensure it is smooth and clear.
- Broth may be stored in refrigerator (up to a week) or freezer (in freezer safe container) if not using immediately.
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add your chopped onions and carrots, let soften slightly, 3-4 minutes. Add in about 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Add in dried basil and chopped garlic, cook until just fragrant.
- Add 10 cups of chicken broth, chicken and noodles. Cook for about 10 minutes until noodles are soft. Add in your spinach and finally salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Feel free to use whatever type of small noodle you prefer. I often use the mini alphabet or tiny shells. This recipe shows thin egg noodle strands.
Can add celery if you'd like.
If I have frozen cubes of pesto from the summer, I'll often add a cube to the soup mixture. It adds such a nice flavor boost.