Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 4-6. Prep time: 30 minutes.
Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces egg noodles
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preparation: 

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and stir until the vegetables begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened. Add the stock, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken.

Taste for salt, and grind fresh pepper over the soup. Cook the noodles separately, and add to the hot soup with the parsley just before serving. If you plan to make the soup ahead of time, stir in the cooked chicken, allow the soup to cool and keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. Then, when you’re ready to serve, cook the noodles, chop the fresh parsley and add to the heated soup.

Serving Suggestion:
The use of prepared stock and already-cooked chicken (either the meat from a rotisserie chicken or a leftover cooked chicken breast from an earlier meal) makes this a super-simple and comforting weeknight meal that lends itself to all sorts of fun variations. Add chopped fresh spinach when you toss in the chicken, or stir in your favorite chunky salsa and serve with tortilla chips on the side.