This is possibly the easiest soup ever. Every kid over the age of eight at my house can make this without help. If you don't happen to care for cabbage and carrots, or don't have time to chop them, try frozen corn or peas. If you happen to have a cup or two of already-cooked chicken in the freezer, or maybe a leftover piece or two of deli chicken, you can prepare this in 10 minutes.
8 cups water
2 tablespoons oil (I like to use sesame oil)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup thinly slivered cabbage (like for coleslaw)
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger (optional)
4 packages chicken- or oriental-flavor ramen noodles
Soy sauce to taste
How to Make It
Bring water to a boil in a soup pot. While water comes to a boil, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté chicken until browned on all sides and cooked through.
Once water comes to a boil, add sautéed chicken, carrot, cabbage, garlic, and ginger to pot. Cook 2 minutes, then add ramen noodles along with only 2 of the flavor packets that come with the noodles. Cook 3 minutes and not a second longer – ramen is best when not cooked to death. Taste, then add a slosh of soy sauce if you like. (I like.)
Note: My kids love the taste of ramen noodles, and I love how quickly they cook. Several of the recipes in this book show you how to jazz up a simple package of ramen to add more nutrition and better flavor. One hint: Never use all the seasoning packets if you're using multiple packages of ramen. You'll probably find that you can get good flavor using half as many of the packets as you have packages of ramen. But don't throw away the unused packets; I set them aside and use them to make broth for other recipes.