Sunday Night Soup

This weekend was really fun, full of friends and general commotion. What turned out to be a great Saturday, however, was followed by the Sunday blues. It started with a great dinner last night (shrimp Creole, yum!) and a friend who very kindly offered to do the dishes after I did a lot of cooking. Unfortunately, quite a bit of food must have gone down the drain because this morning, as I was getting ready to make a beautiful breakfast, I noticed that the sink was really clogged. The plumbers don’t come to my building until Monday so for now it is staying clogged, though in reality if I weren’t so cheap I’d just go to the store to buy Drano.  Lucky for me, it turns out that it’s not completely clogged, the water does go down very slowly, it just takes about an hour for the sink to fully drain. I took this to mean that I could keep cooking, as long as I only did my dishes a few at a time.

My sad, clogged sink

By the time it got dark though, everything was a mess. In attempting to get caught up on lots of built up laundry I had torn the apartment apart.  My mood was only made worse by the disarray in my kitchen. Anyone else would have just gone to Chipotle and had takeout for dinner but I love to cook on Sundays and wasn’t going to let today be any different. This recipe was born from the necessity to cook a meal with minimal dishes and cleanup as well as a desire for something really comforting to lift my spirits on a lonely evening. The best part of this dish is the combination that results from the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, they are really the only essential ingredients.

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  •  1 large or two small carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chicken breast, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • vermicelli noodles

Substitutions

  • I like to use chicken broth from a box but you can also make your own by adding bouillon to boiling water (follow proportions on bullion package)
  • If you have zucchini, replace one of the carrots with half a zucchini (sadly I didn’t have any)
  • If you don’t have garlic, cut off ¼ of an onion (any kind). You can dice it and throw it in with the broth.
  • I used frozen chicken breast because I didn’t have fresh and didn’t really know how I was going to clean up raw chicken juice without a working sink… so I used it straight from the freezer. You can use fresh if that’s what you have.
  • If you don’t have vermicelli noodles, use thin or normal spaghetti instead. If you’re not in the mood for noodles, substitute in ¼ cup white rice.  Cook it in the pot as you would noodles, probably for about 15 minutes or until very soft.

Put your broth in your medium pot, bring to medium heat. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce. Meanwhile, wash, peel and julienne your carrots (julienning is cutting them into short, thin strips).  Peel your garlic and cut into thin pieces. Add carrots and garlic to pot, let boil for about 10 minutes.

Julienned carrots

After 10 minutes, reduce heat until at just a simmer. Drop in your chicken breast. You don’t want the broth to be boiling because it will make the chicken tough. If using fresh chicken cook for about 7 minutes, 10 if frozen.

After chicken is cooked, bring to a slightly higher heat.  Let boil for 10-15 minutes while you fold your laundry, make your bed, or pretend like you’re washing dishes. Once carrots have become soft add your vermicelli noodles. The package says to cook them, rinse them, then heat them again but I just threw mine straight into the pot (no rinsing) and it was fine. Let noodles cook for 10-13 minutes or until soft.

Once noodles are cooked, take out your chicken breast and cut it up in your bowl.

cut up your chicken before adding the broth

Add noodles and broth to your bowl. Add your rice vinegar to taste, probably about 1-2 tbsp. I like to eat this soup with both chopsticks and a spoon!

Serves: 1, happily and without the Sunday blues.

P.S. This soup warmed me up and proved to be so comforting I remembered why I didn’t bother to go get take out. I hope it’s the same for you!

P.P.S. If you have friends who you want to eat this soup with, just double or triple all the ingredients.

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