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  • Writer's picturelaurenjanowiecki

This weeks easy, healthy, & Cheap family dinner | 2 easy soups

Updated: Feb 11, 2019

Quick and Easy Soups

I know it feels like I'm slacking on my recipes AND on my mental health blog (I swear there are HUGE things coming up that will make it all worth it) - I pinky promise things will get back to normal asap. Because of this, I have included not one, but TWO of my favorite soup recipes to keep you warm the next few days. (here in ohio its supposed to get down to negative 25... yes, i know, we suck, and its terrible)

So, meanwhile here are the 2 EASIEST and most delightful soups on earth. On FREEZING days like these, soup is always my go-to. so, enjoy, and stay cozy.

Also, remember when I told you to go get these ingredients last week? Well, you need them again. (see, told you so lol.)

SOUP #1: Asian Noodle Soup

Easy: Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 5 minutes Total Time 10 minutes

Healthy: only 236 calories (unless you go back for thirds, like me)

Cheap: $5-$10 you should not have to spend more than $5 on this if you got all your ingredients for my last recipe.

Servings 4-6 big bowls Calories 236 cal


8 cups chicken stock

6 green onions finely sliced into rounds

1/2 cup white onion (super thin sliced.

2 tablespoon Oyster Sauce

1 tablespoon low sodium light Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon low sodium Soy Sauce

4 oz Dried Chinese noodles of your choice

4 leaves Bok Choy/pak choi sliced


1. In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

2. Add the green onions, Bok Choy or Chinese greens, soy sauces, oyster sauce & the noodles.

3. Reduce the heat and cook according to noodle package instructions (just until tender).  

4. Serve hot

Recipe Notes:

Cooking the noodles separate:  If you are concerned that your noodles might suck up too much of the soup, just cook them separately (according to the package instructions), add them to the bowl and cover with the soup.

SOUP #2: Shrimp & Chicken Pho

Easy: Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 40 minutes

Healthy: only 260 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 1 serving of vegetables

Cheap: $10-$15

Servings 4-6 big bowls Calories 260 cal


6 to 8 ounces (180 to 225 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs

1/2 lb shrimp, deveined, cleaned, and peeled

3/4-inch ginger

2 large green onions

1 bunch cilantro sprigs

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 whole clove

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups seafood broth

2 cups water

About 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 to 3 teaspoons fish sauce

About 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar, or 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

Pepper (optional)

Optional extras: Bean sprouts, mint sprigs, Thai basil, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, thinly-sliced chili peppers


1 Prepare the broth ingredients: Peel then slice the ginger into 4 or 5 coins. Smack with the flat side of a knife or meat mallet; set aside. Thinly slice the green parts of the green onion to yield 2 to 3 tablespoons; set aside for garnish. Cut the leftover sections into pinkie-finger lengths, bruise, then add to the ginger.

Coarsely chop the leafy tops of the cilantro to yield 2 tablespoons; set aside for garnish. Set the remaining cilantro sprigs aside.

2 Toast the broth ingredients: In a 3- to 4-quart (3 to 4 l) pot, toast the coriander seeds and clove over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the ginger and green onion sections. Stir for about 30 seconds, until aromatic.

3 Add the broth and bring to a simmer: Slide the pot off heat, wait 15 seconds or so to briefly cool, then pour in the broth.

Return the pot to the burner, then add the water, cilantro sprigs, chicken, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to gently simmer.

4 Remove the chicken from the broth once cooked: After 5 to 10 minutes of simmering, the chicken should be firm and cooked through (press on it and it should slightly yield).

5 Continue to simmer the broth without the chicken for another 15 to 20 minutes (for a total of 30 minutes simmering time).

6 Shred the chicken: Transfer the chicken to a bowl, flush with cold water to arrest the cooking, then drain. Let cool, then cut or shred into bite-size pieces. Cover loosely to prevent drying.

[Emma's note: If the chicken isn't quite cooked through when you begin to shred it, just split it into a few pieces and put it back in the broth for another few minutes until cooked through. The split pieces will quickly cook through.]

7 Soak the rice noodles in hot water until pliable and opaque. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

8 Strain the broth: When the broth is done, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer positioned over a 2-quart (2-liter) pot; line the strainer with muslin for superclear broth. Discard the solids. You should have about 4 cups.

Season with fish sauce and sugar (or maple syrup), if needed, to create a strong savory-sweet note.

9 Finish the pho: Bring the strained broth to a boil over high heat. Put the noodles in a noodle strainer or mesh sieve and dunk in the hot broth to heat and soften, 5 to 60 seconds. Lift the noodles from the pot and divide between the 2 bowls. [Emma's note: I didn't find it necessary to soften my noodles any further. I just added them to the bowls and poured the hot broth over top. However, dunking them in the broth would make them more flavorful!]

Lower the heat to keep the broth hot while you arrange the chicken on top of the noodles and garnish with the chopped green onion, cilantro, and a sprinkling of pepper. Taste and adjust the broth’s saltiness one last time. Return the broth to a boil and ladle into the bowls. Enjoy with any extras, if you like.

[NOTE: I just left the broth at a low simmer during this last step, rather than bringing it to a boil again. I thought it was plenty hot!]

Please note: all recipes have been altered or changed but you can find the original page sources below.

Original Asian noodle soup recipe and photos:

Original Chicken Pho Recipe and photos:





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