I’ve caught the classic college student cold. The kind that stays with you for weeks and weeks, refusing to leave and insisting on making your life miserable. It’s like a bad house guest that overstays his welcome, except not by just a few extra days but a few very long months. You never should’ve let it come over, but you were careless and too busy to care. Long before you knew it, it settled in your apartment, leaving your trash can filled with tissues and depleting your supply of tea.
The only method I know of eliminating this pesky dilemma: homemade chicken noodle soup. It turns out there might be a legitimate science behind this mom’s favorite that shows chicken soup actually helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms. This happens by inhibiting the bodily migration of neutrophils, the most common infection-fighting white blood cells. The soup also helps increase the movement of nasal mucus and improves the function of protective cilia in your nose that prevent bacteria from entering. So the rumors are true, this stuff helps you get, or at least feel, better. Lucky for us sniffly, coughing students, chicken noodle soup is incredibly easy to make, especially if you already have some leftover chicken in the fridge like I did. Then, all you need is chicken stock, pasta and some basic vegetables before you have a cold cure-all waiting on your dinner table.
*I changed the ingredient proportions for this recipe, so photos below show a lesser broth to soup content ratio than this recipe will yield)
Serving Size: 2
1/2 cup of any pasta, I used vegetable rotini
1/2 red bell pepper, diced (can replace with sweet potatoes, parsnips or turnips)
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
2 14.5 oz cans of chicken broth
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of shredded chicken breast (I used dark meat and it was fine)
Water for cooking pasta
1. Boil pot of water and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat up chicken broth and water to a boil in medium pot and throw in carrots and chicken.
3. When carrots are starting to soften, lower heat to a simmer and throw in onions and red bell pepper. If using celery, this would be the time to add that too.
4. I had excess arugula in the fridge so I threw that in during the last minute after all the vegetables had become tender. While the arugula was cooking in and wilting, I tasted for salt and pepper. If the broth has reduced down too much, or it is too salty, add in 1/8 cup of water at a time until everything has adjusted to your taste. Add in pasta and simmer for another minute.
5. Serve and feel the icky sickness melt away.