Recipe: Veggie-heavy Chicken Soup (and a couple rants about healthy eating)

Veggie-heavy chicken soup#1 Secret to eating healthier

I’ve done some dappling over the years with my nutrition to find the optimal diet for my health, and while there really isn’t ONE diet that “wins” from my perspective, there is one principle that prevails.

Trust me, if you can do this ONE thing, you WILL be eating healthier:

Eat more vegetables. As many as you can. Pack those suckers in!

Duh, no brainer, right? My problem? Vegetables ain’t cake and I have to force myself to eat them sometimes.

#2 Secret to eating healthier

Make it from scratch. All of it.

This is a trick from Michael Pollan. You want potato chips? Fine, have them. After you make them. FROM SCRATCH.

That’s a hell of a lot more trouble than buying a bag of them from the store and stuffing your face, ain’t it? That’s why this secret works. You eat whatever you want, but you have to make it. From. Scratch.

Do those 2 things and you will be eating healthier, especially if you make those foods with unprocessed ingredients like this recipe. 🙂

Enter my veggie-heavy chicken soup

When I cook, I usually follow a recipe, but sometimes I just have a bunch of vegetables to use up before they go bad. So, I get creative. …Hahaha! No I don’t.

I throw all those veggies in a pan with some protein and season it to cover up my lack of culinary talent. No joke.

You would not believe how often I get away with this and oddly enough with praise from my family for a good meal. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I know, I don’t quite get it either.

This soup is one of those “empty the fridge” meals. Believe it or not – it’s freaking DELICIOUS and it easily sneaks in lots o’ nutrients.

If you are gluten-free, paleo, or doing a Whole30, this recipe will work for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-5 carrots, diced
  • 4-6 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 zucchini, cut into half-moons
  • 4-6 cups of bone broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 bunch of kale, veins removed, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice, plus more to taste

Recipe

Step 1: Cook the chicken.

  1. In the morning, put your chicken, frozen or thawed, in a crockpot with at least an inch of water.Tip: If you don’t have chicken broth or bone broth lying around for the soup, fill your crockpot up to an inch from the top with water.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. How much salt and pepper? Start with a teaspoon of each, but if you love salt and pepper, put a little more in.
  3. Turn the crockpot on low. If your chicken is frozen, let it go for 8 hours. If it’s thawed, go for 6.
  4. After the chicken is done, take it out to cool and then shred it or tear it up into bite size pieces.
  5. Save the broth. (Heck, save the bones while you’re at it and make some more bone broth with them for next time).

Step 2: Saute the veggies.

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter. (And, please, use real butter, grass-fed if you have it. Don’t mess around with margarine. Nobody should be eating that crap. You hear me?)
  2. Throw in the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute until they start to soften. You’re probably looking at 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini and saute for a couple more minutes until your veggies are the texture you want them.

Step 3: Put it ALL in the pot.

  1. Add the chicken, garlic, kale, and your second bay leaf to the pot of veggies.
  2. Remember that saved broth from the crockpot? Use it now, if you have it. Fill the pot with as much broth as you want. You like brothy soups? Add more broth, especially if it’s bone broth. Your gut health will thank you.
  3. Heat the soup to the temp you want it to be before you dig in.
  4. When you’re about ready to eat, taste the broth. Pretty blah?
  5. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP: Add that teaspoon of lemon juice and taste it again. You taste the difference? It’s subtle, but that lemon juice gives a little “pop” to the flavor and it’s my secret ingredient in chicken broth based soups.
  6. Add salt and pepper, and even a little more lemon juice if you dig it, until that broth is just how you like it.

Step 4: Dig in!

Did you try it?

Let me know in the comments if you make this soup! I’m curious. 🙂 Hopefully it helps you sneak in some vitamins and minerals without really noticing.

Also, this recipe is intentionally a little loose. If you don’t have kale, use spinach. Don’t have zucchini? No big whoop…try squash instead. Make the soup be what you want it to be and enjoy! Let me know if you make alterations and how it turns out.

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