Welcome to Comfort Food Week! This week, I have three recipes designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, even though it might be cold and sad and disgusting outside.
Guess what, you guys? It’s cold and flu season. That means that we always have a can of chicken noodle soup in the pantry, ready and waiting for the moment someone in our house gets the sniffles.
I should say that most years we have that can of soup in the pantry. This year, I have plenty of this soup in the freezer, because it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and additive-free — unlike that can of condensed soup we usually buy. It takes a little bit of time, but not nearly as much time as you think, especially if you skip making bone broth, like I did, and buy good chicken stock at the store.
However, the bone broth does give this an extra boost of nutrition. With all of that good stuff in the broth plus the protein of the quinoa and chicken and the amazing flavor of the lemon and dill, you’ll be feeling better in no time. And if you aren’t, that’s okay too, as this recipe makes a ton. You’ll be well on your way to recovery by the time you get through this batch.
Chicken Soup with Quinoa
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 8-10 servings
A perfect sick-day soup. Keep this in the freezer for when the flu strikes.
- 1 chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 8 cups broth (homemade or carefully selected store-bought)
- juice of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast chicken breast on a foil-lined pan for about 30 minutes. (You can also pan-fry, but I preferred to roast).
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and sautee for about 10 minutes, or until the onions and celery are soft.
- Add broth (I strained mine directly from the slowcooker into the pot). Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until the chicken breast is done roasting.
- Shred cooked chicken breast with two forks and add chicken, quinoa, lemon juice and dill. Simmer until the soup is completely heated through. Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to three days or freeze, if desired.
For this recipe, I used bone broth that had been made in a slow cooker with a chicken carcass, about three center-cut marrow bones, a carrot, celery and several peeled cloves of garlic. No ginger, no fish sauce, no vinegar.
It’s too hot to turn on the oven. No kidding. So we’re eating a ton of salads in my house lately — as, I assume, you can tell from the posts on this blog, which have mostly been piles of vegetables and ice cream.
But at some point last week, I decided we needed to change up the flavors a little bit. Time to revisit the Eastern Hemisphere and eat something filled with soy, ginger, peanuts and cabbage. To serve something like a stir-fry, but without, you know, all of that heat.
After over a week of eating and drinking everything I laid hands on while celebrating our wedding, I’ve found myself in desperate need of vegetables.
And what a coincidence — it’s summer! Local produce is finally here, and I can bask in fresh herbs, kale and even good tomatoes. My garden took off with all of the rain we had last week, and the spinach is starting to get little round leaves while the carrots have finally poked their little green sprouts out of the soil.
Next time you go into a health food store, stop just inside the door and inhale as deeply as you can. It’s weird, and people are going to look at you funny, but it’s worth it. The scents of all the teas and the herbs and the essential oils combine to make one of the most zen smells in the entire world.
I can’t walk in a health food store and then feel stressed. It’s not possible. My local one is not only full of amazing smells, but it’s packed with local greens and herbs, raw dairy, house-made sauerkraut in four varieties and all of the gluten-free products you could ever want. I am currently in the middle of a very substantial craving for the owner’s famous “flackers.”
Anyway, this salad reminds me of that place for two reasons.
I am on a quest for homemade vegetable stock. When I was paleo, it was fine to just make bone broth all the time, chicken broth sometimes, and not worry about the fact that I was essentially pouring meat into everything I was cooking, otherwise vegetarian or not. Meat on paleo equals protein, bone broth equals gelatin, and all of that was fine with me.
But as I attempt to make this a food blog more about eating healthy, no matter what your diet might be, it occurred to me that some of you would prefer to not ingest cow every time you make soup. You also might prefer to not have to handle oxtails and hacked-off parts of an animal skeleton.
I know this. I get you. We have an understanding.
Winter is made for soup. Whether you’re looking for a good lunch to take to work or a giant bowl of comfort at the end of a long day, soup is always the answer.
This recipe, in particular, is incredibly versatile. First, it’s fast, making it great for a quick weeknight meal. Second, it’s vegetarian, even vegan if you use vegetable stock, as well as being gluten-free and probably Paleo, if you use a sweet potato instead of the boiling potato.
The soup has no flour, no dairy — just a harmonious blend of veggies, a potato, some good stock, and a dash of spice from the red pepper. The carrot makes it silky and sweet, the onion adds bite, the potato brings body to the table, and the squash….well. The squash is clearly the star.
Did you ever have a feeling that you need to eat a giant bowl of vegetables? Maybe you haven’t been overindulging, but you want to eat something overwhelmingly good for you; maybe you have been going overboard, and now you want to make it up to yourself. Maybe you worry that you’re about to develop scurvy. Whatever the reason, we all have those days.
This is the perfect recipe for when that feeling strikes. Instead of its namesake, which is delicious but full of unnecessary starch and sodium, this recipe turns julienned and sliced vegetables into the noodles, replaces meat with edamame, and pulls all the ingredients together with an “mmmm”-inducing peanut soy sauce.