I was craving a chicken noodle soup that was a little more interesting than what you find in a red and white can. Maybe Chunky Chicken and Spaghetti Soup? I wasn’t in the mood for tomatoes. How about Quick Chinese Chicken and Rice Soup? Nah, I didn’t want eggs and I wanted noodles instead of rice. An Asian chicken noodle soup? That sounded perfect. Noodles. No tomatoes. No eggs.
This soup not only has the obligatory chicken and noodles, but also colorful vegetables like bright red bell peppers and baby spinach. It also features ginger and garlic – two spices with many beneficial properties.
Ginger aids digestion, is anti-inflammatory, and may improve carbohydrate metabolism. Garlic improves your immune system and cholesterol, may reduce blood pressure, and might even protect you against dementia. All this from a bowl of Asian chicken noodle soup!
To cook the meat for the soup, I like to stew a bone-in chicken breast with carrot, onion, and celery, then let it sit in its broth while it cools. See my tip for cooking chicken and making stock. I think the chicken is juicier and more flavorful when cooked this way. If you’re pressed for time, feel free to use leftover cooked chicken (or turkey) or to pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.
Asian Chicken Noodle and Spinach Soup
- 1 bone-in chicken breast
- 1 stalk celery coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot coarsely chopped
- 1/2 small small onion cut in wedges
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 scallions thinly sliced (green and white parts separated)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 4 ounces egg noodles
- 1/2 cup bell peppers any color or a combination, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces baby spinach stems removed and cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
Place chicken, celery, carrot, and onion in a large pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 40 minutes.
Turn off heat and let chicken cool slightly while submersed in the liquid. Remove skin and bones and shred the meat. Discard vegetables.
Heat sesame oil in large pot over medium-low heat. Add scallion whites, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onions have softened, about a minute or two.
Add chicken broth, tamari/soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 1 cup water to pot. Increase heat to medium-high, cover, and bring to a slow boil. Add noodles, return to a boil, and cook until the noodles are almost done, about 6 to 7 minutes (or a minute less than the package says).
Stir in bell peppers, shredded chicken, and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts, about a minute.
Pour into 4 serving bowls and top with scallion greens.
Time-saving tip: Use leftover cooked chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and skip the COOK CHICKEN section of the recipe. You'll need about 2 cups of meat.