Some days I wake up with no plan for lunches. Of course the kids could just buy lunches but they don't like it and by the time they get through the lunch line there's about 15 minutes max to eat lunch. I have no issues packing them lunches, I truly enjoy doing it. I know many people groan about it and just don't like to do it. I am not one of those people the majority of the time.
|Any aromatics can be used. I used these for an udon noodle soup.|
There are some days I will groan but not often. I also like to know that they are eating foods they like. There are some days that they do want to buy lunch if it's something they are in the mood for, and that's fine also. My two younger kids will do that, my oldest won't. She didn't buy a single school lunch last year.
Anyway, today was one of those what should I pack days. So I grabbed some frozen chicken drumsticks out of the freezer and gathered some ingredients. This is a QUICK, easy, no fuss soup. If I had more time I would add more things, doctor it up, etc. But as is. It's good. I'm sitting down to a bowl myself as I type this. Granted mine has ruffle pasta and not dinosaur shaped as shown.
This can easily be done on a stove in a soup pot. But it will take a little longer, since the chicken is frozen. The other thing is once this was put into the Instant Pot I could take a shower, get the kids ready for school. I didn't have to worry about a pot boiling over or the water level getting too low.
Often times my Instant Pot will take the same or a little more time to cook that something would take on the stove, but the convenience of just leaving the room and forgetting about it until the timer beeps makes it so worth it.
Once the soup was done I shredded the chicken and discarded the parts we didn't need for the soup. Bones, half the onion, spice ball contents. After seasoning to taste it was ready to go in the Thermos containers.
I add dry pasta/uncooked to each container. Then I top it with chicken and any extra seasonings. Like red pepper flakes or hot sauce, like Sriracha. After I ladle the hot broth into each container and close them up. Just make sure there's room for expansion, the pasta will be tender by lunch time.
The leftovers were perfect for lunch at home also.
Quick School Lunch Chicken Noodle Soup
3 pieces bone in chicken*
3-4 cups chicken stock, broth, or water**
1 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
2-3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- Put hot water in each Thermos container to warm it up, this is optional but it keeps food hotter longer.
- Place chicken, carrots, celery, onion, and water into the liner of the Instant Pot.
- Put the bay leave, garlic, and peppercorns into a spice ball and put it into the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot and press the SOUP button, adjusting it to LESS. Which will be 20 minutes, high pressure, or at least on my model which is the 6 quart DUO.
- Once the cooking time is over wait about 10-15 minutes and open the lid.
- Season the broth with poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Shred the chicken.
- Pour water out of the Thermos containers and add pasta to fill about 1/3 to under 1/2 of the container.
- I add different things to each container depending on the child. You can add fish sauce (I add this for all of the kids), black pepper, red pepper flakes, Sriracha, chopped cilantro, chopped celery leaves.
- Add chicken, and ladle broth over everything.
- Close each lid, and put them in a lunch bag.
- This soup makes a good 6-7 servings. The good thing is you can put the soup, without pasta into the freezer for quick heating at a later date.
- To cook the pasta in the Instant Pot, add pasta, close the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 1-2 minutes. Release pressure after two minutes, stir and serve right away. The pasta continues to cook the more it sits. That doesn't seem like a lot of time but it works for me and I don't like soggy pasta.
*My chicken was frozen solid. You can use thawed also, if you had planned ahead.
** I'm out of stock in my freezer, so I used water. But I've thrown in frozen stock with about 1/4 cup of water to get things started in my Instant Pot with no issues, it takes a little longer to come up to pressure, but it works just fine.