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I simply love the comfort foods I make during the colder months. The soups, chili, and stews are all so delicious and heart healthy. I have many recipes for each, but as a rule, I always add more vegetables than what the recipe calls for because they taste so good, and it is a great way to get my kids to eat them, especially my daughter. The spices and vegetables I add are a simple way to bring out more flavor in the dish as well. The other great part about making soups, chili and stews is you can easily prepare extra to freeze for a future easy, grab-n-go meal.  Who doesn’t like that, right? 

Below is a recipe I love to make and have on hand almost all of the time throughout winter. It is easy to make, smells great simmering on the stove, and if you know someone who is not feeling well, there is nothing better than a bowl of chicken soup!

Chicken Leek Noodle Soup 
From: Colorado Collage Cookbook by The Junior League of Denver (My changes, other than the doubling recipe and adding more vegetables are in (italics) next to ingredient or preparation step)

Ingredients: 

  • 10 cups chicken broth (favorite bouillon is “Better Than Bouillon”) 
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound) 
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (switch to 2 tablespoons olive oil) 
  • 4 medium leeks, white part only, chopped and thoroughly rinsed (use some of the green too)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1.5 cups green beans 
  • 2 teaspoons salt (leave out) 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 8 medium mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 2 cups cooked, drained thin egg noodles (I sometimes leave out the noodles to lighten the calories) 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Instructions:
In large saucepan, heat chicken broth and wine to boiling. Reduce heat, add chicken and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon, reserving cooking liquid. Set aside to cool.

In large, heavy saucepan, melt butter (again, use olive oil) over medium-low heat.  Add leeks, carrots, celery, salt (optional) and pepper. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add reserved chicken broth mixture and mushrooms. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Add noodles and green beans and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Shred cooled chicken and stir into soup. Add parsley and heat thoroughly.

Enjoy this delicious meal on a chilly day!