Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken Quinoa Soup

I make chicken stock every couple of weeks, and this time, most of it went straight into a pot of soup. I had a craving for chicken noodle soup, so I stole the stock from the pot a day early (usually I let it simmer for 48 hours). We didn't have any noodles, so I used leftover quinoa from the night before - I had tried it once before in a pot of sausage spinach soup and it was really good - as I find that using cooked noodles, rice, etc., works better than uncooked so that all of my stock doesn't get sucked up. I had cooked a chicken two nights before, too, so I had that all set.

It was meant to soup, that is. We all ended up getting colds the next day, so I was very thankful for all of the leftovers this made!

In this blog, I will post exactly what I used for the particular meal. I won't always use the same ingredients every time (for example, I don't always use organic), but my goal is to record exactly what I made, no generalizations. Here is the recipe:

Chicken Quinoa Soup
2 +/- quarts homemade chicken stock*
5 organic carrots
5 stalks of organic celery
1 organic zucchini
1 organic sweet white onion
3 cloves organic garlic
2 T unsalted organic butter
2 +/- cups cooked chicken, white and dark meat
2 +/- cups cooked quinoa (mine was an organic mixed variety from Trader Joe's)
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 T (approx.) sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in soup pot and process carrots, celery, onion, and zucchini in a food processor until the vegetables are small bits (we have some in our household who shun large chunks of vegetables in their soup). Cook the vegetables in the butter until they're soft. Mince the garlic finely and allow it to sit out for 10-15 minutes (don't add it to the soup yet**).

Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper, and oregano, and bring to a low boil. Cook at a low simmer for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cooked chicken and cooked quinoa. Heat for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to boil the soup after the chicken is added so that it doesn't become tough. Just before stirring, stir in the minced garlic and test for salt. If needed, add more. I like my soup salty.

*I follow this recipe (loosely, sometimes) for making my stock.

**Mincing garlic finely and then letting it sit for a little before eating it lets it release the active agents that have health benefits for us. I try to get as much raw garlic into my family as possible because it really helps us fight winter colds. Normally, unheated is best.

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What do you think? Did you try this recipe at home?