Question: How do you get your family to willingly eat quinoa, spinach, and tons of other veggies? Answer: You feed them soup.
Generally, my kids are good eaters. They’ll try most anything I put in front of them. But sometimes, SOMETIMES my 4-year-old is the vegetable police. Even when I dice it up really fine, she still will sit at the table and pick out any trace of the offending veg.
However, there’s something about soup that makes kids ignore all the greenery. Maybe it’s that the colors look really pretty. Maybe it’s that soup is fun for them. Maybe it’s that it just tastes THAT good. All of the above, perhaps?
I originally envisioned this as more of a Tuscan vegetable soup, but I think it transitioned more into a late Summer-early Fall tasty vegetable collaboration.
Also, I know many THMers have trouble getting enough protein and feeling full in their E meals, so this soup pulls heavy duty. It’s packed with lean chicken, beans, and quinoa for protein and has loads of vegetables.
Lemony Chicken and Quinoa Soup (THM E)
Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (previously cooked and shredded, or raw)
- 6-8 c fat free chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes (I used ones seasoned with basil, garlic, and oregano.)
- 1 15oz can white beans (any variety you like! I used navy beans.)
- 1 c cooked quinoa
- 2 medium-sized carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery with leafy centers, diced
- 1 c mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 large yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium-sized red onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 c chopped fresh spinach with stems removed (can also use frozen chopped leaf spinach, not thawed)
- 1/2 – 3/4 c flat leaf parsley, chopped
- zest and juice of 1 large, or 2 small, lemons
- 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- In a large, deep pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the tomatoes (with their juices) and 6 cups of the broth. NOTE* If you’re using raw chicken, add the whole breasts at this step, cover, and simmer on medium-high for 12-14 minutes. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken, add it and simmer for just 5-7 minutes covered.
- Shred the chicken. Turn the heat down to low and add the spinach, beans, quinoa, lemon zest and juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes on low, taste and adjust for seasoning. Add additional 2 cups of broth, if needed and heat through another 2 minutes.
Believe me, you will not be disappointed with this recipe! The taste is light and fresh, yet very hearty. You can feed a few (with TONS of freezer leftovers!) or an army with this recipe, and everyone will leave satisfied.