One of my fondest memories as a child/teenager was coming home after a long day of school and extra-curricular activities to the smell of my mom’s homemade chicken and dumpling soup. The aroma of the soup sitting hot in its pot used to instantly bring me to a place of calm and happiness. In my adult life, and even more so now as a mother myself, I long for those peaceful moments of the younger days, when life was… simpler somehow. Now, I am able to bring myself back to those feelings of calm and ease by throwing on my own pot of chicken soup.
Why am I sharing this with you? There is more to just the smell and taste of this yummy soup! There’s also the fact that all children seem to love the soup as much as I do, meaning, your kids are getting in a good hit of protein, veggies and whole grains with each steaming bowl. Tell me that doesn’t sound perfect!
So, here is the coveted recipe. I have modified my mother’s version to include whole wheat macaroni noodles instead of dumplings. Adding the barley is also my adaptation, but the rest is the original recipe. I make a pot of this magical soup every week and portion it out into toddler sized Ziploc containers to refrigerate, freeze, and enjoy throughout the week. My daughter eats a bowl of it pretty much every day, and on rainy days like today, I sneak in a serving myself. A trip down memory lane with every spoonful… YUM!
Mama’s Chicken Soup
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 dried bay leaves
5 large carrots, peeled & diced into baby sized pieces
5 stalks of celery, again, diced for the little ones
12 cups of water
1 cube of Harvest Sun Organic chicken bouillon
1 cube of Harvest Sun Low Sodium vegetable bouillon
2 cups of dry whole wheat macaroni noodles (or another small pasta)
1 cup of barley pearls
1) Place the chicken thighs in a large pot and add the water.
2) Add the bay leaves, pepper, carrots and celery. Bring water to a boil.
3) Once water is boiling, add the bouillon cubes and the barley. Allow the water to continue to boil for about 20 minutes.
4) In a separate pot, boil the water for the macaroni noodles. Add the noodles once the water is boiling and cook as per the directions on the package.
5) Turn the heat down to low and let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes.
6) Add the cooked macaroni noodles, remove the bay leaves, and either eat the soup right away or let it cool before putting it in containers.
North Shore Mama