Fast Comfort

Our friend Sue at the blog Food Network Musings invited us to participate in an online food bloggers’ event today to benefit those who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  We are all sharing a recipe for a comfort food dish , while encouraging our readers to donate to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  Because all of us need comfort; some more than others. 

The upside of no power: My friend Vince says he finally managed to defrost his freezer after 8 years living in downtown Manhattan

Here are the organizations suggested for donations:

Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and other forms of support to hurricane victims.  You can donate directly to the Red Cross, you can also text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Salvation Army is also focused on providing food, shelter, and support to victims, and takes donations to storm relief.

Feeding America is providing food, water and supplies to those who need it as part of their disaster relief program

Now that you’ve donated, time to whip up a comfort food classic (and a kid favorite at our house) – chicken noodle soup.  Here’s a recipe for a very quick version that can be on the table in less than a half hour.  Note that, instead of adding the leafy greens to the soup in the pot, I prefer to throw a handful of uncooked greens into the bottom of each soup bowl, then ladle the hot soup on top.  This wilts the greens just enough to soften them up a bit but they still retain their fresh color, texture and taste.  Serve this with plenty of grated parmesan cheese and  a loaf of crusty bread or homemade biscuits.  You can also give this soup an Asian spin by using bok choy and flavoring the broth with a few dashes of fish sauce and chopped ginger root.  In this instance, use rice noodles or buckwheat noodles for the pasta and pass the Sriracha sauce! 

Oh – and of course – a “comfort wine” !  Any of First Vine’s wines from our “Everyday Reds” category would pair wonderfully well with this delicious and simple soup.

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup


6-8 cups chicken broth

1 package (about 1#) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into strips

2 – 3 stalks chopped celery

2 – 3 peeled carrots, sliced very thin

1 cup short pasta (I used fagiolini) or a few handfuls egg noodles

2-3 TBSP dried or fresh chopped herbs such as thyme, oregano, basil or marjoram

Few cloves minced garlic

Salt, black pepper to taste

Several  handfuls washed, trimmed and roughly chopped greens.  Swiss chard , spinach or bok choy work well here



Empty the chicken broth into a stockpot, heat turned medium high.  Add garlic, carrots and celery.  When broth boils, add pasta and turn heat to low, allowing broth to simmer for 10 minutes.  Add chicken , simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Add herbs, then salt and pepper to taste.  Into 4 large soup bowls, place a large handful of the prepared greens, then ladle hot soup on top.  Serve with lots of grated parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

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2 Responses to Fast Comfort

  1. Sue says:

    Love it! Thanks for the shoutout. Other faster thinking food bloggers, Jenn and Barb, came up with the idea.

    I really like that addition of greens at the end. I’ve been adding whatever green stuff I have on hand – leftover broccoli rabe or kale salad – to practically every soup I serve now.

    • firstvine says:

      Thanks Sue ! Yes I like to add the greens at the end otherwise they get slimy, particularly after reheating . Thank you for passing along Jenn and Barb’s idea:)

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