Chicken noodle soup is already pretty kid-friendly, but some children can be turned off by green or bitter things such as parsley, green onions, or celery. That means you might not want to give them a giant bowl of refined carbohydrates. That’s why this recipe calls for konjac noodles, which are noodles made from a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, flavourless, and fibrous tuber that picky eaters probably won’t mind (or notice). If your kids don’t happen to mind green, feel free to substitute zucchini noodles and add all the parsley, chives, green onions, and broccoli you like! While you’ll get more nutrients out of making a homemade broth, this recipe calls for store-bought quality broth or homemade broth made in advance to save time and labour—which we know is important when there are ravenous children involved!
Look for konjac noodles at your local health food store or Asian market, where they’re often less expensive and sometimes called shirataki noodles. Not all brands are created equal, though, so look for a package that contains more konjac than soy, brown rice, or tapioca flour. Feel free, of course, to substitute traditional pasta in fun shapes like farfalline, stellette, or alphabet.
If you can’t find konjac, you can use peeled zucchini that you spiralize or grate into noodles instead. Zucchini gives a faint green tinge to the noodles even when peeled, though—even when peeled before spiralizing—so if you’re avoiding green and expect quizzical stares from youngsters, try a mix of zucchini and whole grain pasta broken into pieces of about the same size as the zucchini noodles. If using whole grain pasta, boil it in a separate pot so the broth doesn’t absorb all the starch and become cloudy.
If using zucchini, only grate or spiralize down to the seeds, which are mostly water and will become mushy and dilute your broth. The cores make for a juicy snack for the chef!
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
10 cups (2.5 L) chicken broth or bone broth
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 4 thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground black pepper
420 g drained and rinsed konjac noodles, or 2 cups (500 mL) zucchini noodles
In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion, carrots, garlic, and salt, and cook for 5 minutes, until onion is starting to brown. Deglaze with apple cider vinegar and stir for 30 seconds. Add broth, chicken, and black pepper, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until carrots are soft, about 20 minutes.
Add konjac noodles and simmer for 1 minute (3 to 4 minutes for zucchini, or according to pasta directions). Taste and add salt and pepper, to taste.
Each serving contains: 139 calories; 17 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 235 mg sodium