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Monica's favorite gear for
making Chicken Soup
This work horse gets frequent use in my kitchen. I use it to quickly & finely chop the veggies in this chicken soup.
I use this spiral shaped pasta in this soup. It's the perfect bite size to fit on a spoon.
I often use this instead of pasta. It holds up well for reheating and freezing the soup. Plus, it's gluten-free.
If you're looking for more soup recipes, this Cooks Illustrated cookbook is loaded with great recipes. I've tried many of these, and they've never failed.

Healthy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

A nutritious, low fat bowl of comfort; gluten free option


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Healthy Creamy Chicken Noodle (or Rice) Soup

By Monica              8 1-1/2 cup servings
This flavorful soup is creamy, yet low fat. Loaded with veggies, lean chicken, and whole wheat pasta, it's a nutritious, comforting meal on a cold winter day.

This flavorful soup is creamy, yet low fat. Loaded with veggies, lean chicken, and whole wheat pasta, it's a nutritious, comforting meal on a cold winter day.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 6 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (shred a rotisserie chicken or cook your own*)
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated skim milk
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (whole grain recommended); or 2/3 cups uncooked brown rice**

Directions
Heat a Dutch oven or large pot on medium-high, add olive oil. Saute garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, and celery until soft, approx. 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle flour, oregano, pepper, thyme, and poultry seasoning over vegetables. Cook and stir for 1 minutes. Stir in broth and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes.** Add chicken, milk, and noodles; cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

*For chopped/shredded chicken recipe, go to www.theyummylife.com/recipes/77

***If using brown rice, add it along with the broth and increase the simmer time to approx. 45 minutes until the rice is done. Then proceed with the remainder of the recipe, adding the chicken and milk. (An advantage of using rice is that it doesn't overcook as easily as the pasta. Rice also holds up better for reheating and freezing leftovers.)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): 182 calories, 3.4g fat, 20.3g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 6.5g sugar, 17.0g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5

GLUTEN FREE OPTION: Use gluten free oat flour in place of wheat flour; use brown rice in place of pasta.


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I've been making this soup for years. It's one of those stand-by, comfort food meals in our family. Perfect on a cold fall or winter day. With only 182 calories per serving, it's loaded with healthy ingredients: veggies, whole wheat pasta (or brown rice), lean chicken breast. A can of skim evaporated milk gives it a light creaminess without added fat. I've got an easy gluten-free adaptation, too.

I started making this soup when my kids were young, so I diced the veggies in the food processor to make them teensy, indistinguishable, and impossible for picky eaters to fish out. The veggies just added invisible flavor and nutrition. The chicken and noodles were the only ingredients they could easily recognize, and those were something they liked.

Now that King-Man and I are empty nesters and I'm usually cooking for 2, I've continued to make the soup with finely chopped veggies. But now it's for a different reason. (We're grown ups, after all, and don't need our veggies hidden.) After making the soup this way through all these years, I realized that a benefit of finely dicing the veggies is that they get more evening distributed throughout the soup. Every spoonful of soup is packed with the flavors of every ingredient. If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can chop the veggies by hand into bigger pieces.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): 182 calories, 3.4g fat, 20.3g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 6.5g sugar, 17.0g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5

Step-by-step photos for making
Creamy Chicken Noodle (or Rice) Soup

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: olive oil, onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, flour (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour), oregano, thyme, black pepper, poultry seasoning, chicken broth, salt, evaporated skim milk (or evaporated whole milk, if preferred), whole grain pasta (or brown rice), shredded chicken.

view on Amazon:
whole wheat pasta,   basmati brown rice,  skim evaporated milk,
gluten free oat flour

ingredients

Step 2. In a food processor, pulse the garlic until finely minced.

view on Amazon: Monica's food processor

garlic  garlic chopped

Step 3. Pulse and dice the onion. Transfer the chopped the garlic and onion to a separate bowl.

onions  onions chopped

Step 4. Pulse and dice the mushrooms and transfer to the bowl with the onions.

mushrooms  mushrooms chopped

Step 5. Pulse and dice the carrots and transfer to bowl with other veggies.

carrots  carrots chopped

Step 6. Pulse and dice the celery and transfer to bowl with other veggies.

celery  celery chopped

You should now have in the neighborhood of 4 cups of diced veggies.

veggies in bowl

Step 7. Heat oil in large pan or Dutch oven.
Step 8. Add veggies to pan. 

oil in pan  veggies in pan

Step 9. Stir veggies and cook them until they're soft.

stir veggies  veggies cooked

Step 10. Add flour and seasonings. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

flour in pan  flour stirred in

Step 11. Add chicken broth, heat to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.*

add broth  broth stirred in

Step 12. Add chicken.

add chicken  chicken stirred

Step 13. Add pasta--use whatever shape you like.

add noodles  noddles in pan

Step 14. Add evaporated milk.
Step 15. Cook for 10 minutes, until pasta is tender. 

pour in milk  milk stirred in

*Substitute brown rice for the pasta, if you prefer. Add uncooked brown rice along with the broth and increase the simmer time to approx. 45 minutes until the rice is done. Then proceed with the remainder of the recipe. One advantage of using rice is that it doesn't overcook as easily as the pasta. Rice also holds up better for reheating and freezing leftovers.

Look at that warm bowl of comfort. It tastes too creamy to be healthy; but it is!

bowl of soup

Make it a yummy day!

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Healthy Creamy Chicken Noodle (or Rice) Soup
By Monica              Servings: 8 1-1/2 cup servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 6 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (shred a rotisserie chicken or cook your own*)
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated skim milk
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (whole grain recommended); or 2/3 cups uncooked brown rice**
Directions
Heat a Dutch oven or large pot on medium-high, add olive oil. Saute garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, and celery until soft, approx. 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle flour, oregano, pepper, thyme, and poultry seasoning over vegetables. Cook and stir for 1 minutes. Stir in broth and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes.** Add chicken, milk, and noodles; cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

*For chopped/shredded chicken recipe, go to www.theyummylife.com/recipes/77

***If using brown rice, add it along with the broth and increase the simmer time to approx. 45 minutes until the rice is done. Then proceed with the remainder of the recipe, adding the chicken and milk. (An advantage of using rice is that it doesn't overcook as easily as the pasta. Rice also holds up better for reheating and freezing leftovers.)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): 182 calories, 3.4g fat, 20.3g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 6.5g sugar, 17.0g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5

GLUTEN FREE OPTION: Use gluten free oat flour in place of wheat flour; use brown rice in place of pasta.
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Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011

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