hearty healthy chicken vegetable soup

Let’s continue that soup conversation today …day 5 of our Primal Blueprint Challenge.  The homemade chicken stock that I shared with you yesterday is calling out to me.  Most of it is already hanging out in the freezer.  Except for one jar.  It’s a great idea to have a pot of soup prepared for that mid-day reinforcement.  Or for tomorrow’s lunch.  Or today’s dinner.  This one is packed full of flavor, nutrition and chunky vegetables.  No pasta or grains to be found.  I opted for the addition of parsnip cubes for extra heartiness …instead of potatoes.  Since we should be limiting our potato intake on the Primal Blueprint diet,  why not save those indulgences for the roasted variety.  Or a french fry or two.

This is a prime example of why you should have homemade stock stored in your freezer. When the “need to make some soup” mode sets in, you have that liquid gold handy. The stock is so concentrated …you’ll need just one quart to transform an entire batch of soup.

If you haven’t used leeks in the past, be sure to give them a try.  You trim the base and cut away all of the dark green tops.  Just use the white and very light green portion.  Leeks tend to carry quite a bit of sand with them.  To be sure they are clean, cut each trimmed leak down the center vertically and place them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes.  Rinse well and drain.  They’re worth the extra step …they are far sweeter and milder than regular onions.

To make the best use of your time, prepare the first batch of vegetables.  Then, while they’re simmering, get the tomatoes, parsley and swiss chard ready.  When prepping the swiss chard, be sure to remove the stems and cut the leaves into very small pieces.  If you are using fresh green beans, now’s the time to cut them up.

I know that organic vegetables aren’t always available (or affordable) to some of us, but whenever possible …please choose organic produce.  Especially those varieties that are marked “Non GMO.”  The EWG (Environmental Working Group) publishes an annual list of the “dirtiest” produce …those that are likely to contain the most contaminants and/or toxins.  Pay very close attention to the Dirty Dozen, the twelve types of produce containing the highest volume of pesticides.

This will simmer for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the cooked chicken.  Heat through for 5 minutes and you have a soup so hearty that you may want to call it a stew.  Guaranteed to chase away the hungry’s.

Before serving, you may choose to top it off with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a sprinkling of lemon zest.  A sprig or two of fresh herbs will make it even more inviting.  Enjoy!

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hearty healthy chicken vegetable soup

Packed with chunky vegetables and full of flavor.

Servings 4 quarts

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1/4" slices (2 cups / 10 ounces)
  • 2 - 3 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup / 5 ounces)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 large green cabbage, cored & chopped (2 cups / 12 ounces)
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled & cut into 1/4" cubes (10 ounces)
  • 2 leeks, white & light green parts, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 quarts organic chicken broth
  • 1 quart homemade chicken stock (or packaged stock)
  • 6 ounces fresh or frozen green beans, cut in 1" pieces
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes, cored and chopped (12 ounces)
  • 5 - 6 large swiss chard leaves, stem removed & finely chopped (4 cups / 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces cooked shredded chicken
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving (optional)
  • lemon zest, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and olive oil in a dutch oven or stock pot of at least 5 1/2 quart capacity.  Set heat to medium and add carrots, celery, garlic, cabbage, turnips, leeks, dill & thyme.  Mix ingredients well.  Add salt & pepper.  Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.

  2. Once vegetables are translucent, add chicken broth & stock along with the green beans, tomatoes, swiss chard & parsley.  Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes until vegetables are tender.  

  3. Add chicken and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and, if necessary, add salt & pepper to taste.  

  4. Serve topped with a sprinkling of lemon zest and a generous amount of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.

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