I love the fall and all of the food that comes with it! As soon as September rolls around I start to make my soups and stews. They are the perfect comfort food for a cool fall night. This homemade chicken soup is so simple to make and is made with just a few ingredients that most of you will have on hand. My mom made this for me every time I wasn’t feeling well, and now I make it for my family at the first sign of a cold. Since it is easy and simple to prepare, I make it even when we are all healthy! That being said, here are some of the health benefits associated with eating homemade chicken soup when you are feeling “under the weather”:
- The steam from the hot soup helps to open up nasal passageways and the warm broth feels good on a sore throat
- Chicken and quinoa are excellent sources of protein which is essential to maintain strong tissue. In addition, chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, and when cooked it is released and helps to thin out mucous in the nose and lungs
- Carrots contain beta carotene, calcium, potassium and Vitamins B and C
- Celery is high in Vitamin C which is important for giving your immune system a boost
- Onions contain quercetin which is a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory
Growing up my mom always made this soup with some form of pasta such as orzo, alphabet/star pasta or noodles. I have revamped this recipe by removing the pasta from the soup and replacing it with quinoa to add even more protein.
Homemade Chicken Soup with Quinoa
-Approximately 1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use all 5 chicken breasts in a bag of Purdue perfect portions)
-1 pound bag of whole carrots peeled and cut (3 cups cut)
-8 to 10 stalks of celery cleaned and cut (3 cups cut)
-1 large yellow onion (diced)
-1 6 oz bag of baby spinach (cleaned with stems removed)
-1 32 oz container of chicken broth (I use Nature’s Promise organic chicken broth)
-3 cups of cooked Quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
-Salt and paper to taste
Fill an 8 quart stock pot half full with water (approximately 16 cups of water). Add chicken breasts and bring the water and chicken to a boil. Once it begins to boil, cook chicken for 30 minutes over medium high heat. While chicken is boiling, cut onion, carrots and celery and clean spinach. When the chicken is fully cooked, take it out of the pot and set aside. Skim any remaining fat from the chicken stock you created from boiling the chicken. Add carrots, onions, celery, chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook over medium heat. While the vegetables are cooking in the broth, cube chicken and add back into the pot. Continue to cook on the stovetop until vegetables are tender. When vegetables are tender add spinach and simmer until spinach is wilted. In a separate sauce pan cook quinoa according to directions. Ladle soup into individual bowls and add desired amount of quinoa (I like to add two heaping spoonfuls to my bowl of soup). Enjoy!
- Make quinoa and store in separate container until you are ready to add it to your bowl of soup. The quinoa will soak up the broth when added to the soup and stored in the refrigerator.
- You can also top with a little Parmesan cheese and enjoy with your favorite sandwich.
- It will take approximately 1 1/2 hours to make from start to finish
I hope you and your family enjoy this homemade chicken soup and it becomes one of your “go to” recipes!