Friday, September 27, 2013

Chicken, Quinoa, and Kale Soup

Consider this my offering to the weather gods! If the air cools and I don't feel ridiculous, impractical, and feverish wearing boots and scarves, I will make this again and again.

Should my wish not be granted...oh, heck, I'll just set the A.C. to 68 and slurp up a bowl anyway.

The glory of brewing up a soup or stew exists in the ability to crane your neck over the pot, steam whispering at your earlobes, and inhale your crafted aromas.

I haven't cooked much with kale before, but I look forward to using it more! I hear a rumor it's good for you...

The combination of vegetables, plus a few choice spices (cumin, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, crushed red pepper), a parmesan cheese rind, and a garnishing squeeze of lime juice lent the broth a full, zesty flavor.

But let's move onto pictures and the recipe, so you can whip up your own possibly healthy soup!

Chicken, Quinoa, and Kale Soup (adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)
Serves 4.

1/2 lb. boneless chicken thighs
1 carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced 
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups kale, torn
3 cloves minced garlic
1 zucchini, halved then thinly sliced
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopped fingerling potatoes
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
Parmesan cheese rind
1/4 grated parmigiano-reggiano (or parmesan)
One lime (to squeeze juice into each bowl)
Tortilla chips

1. In a large soup pot, heat up olive oil over medium-high. Add celery, carrots, and onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until tender (about ten minutes.)
2. Stir in kale and garlic. Season again with salt and pepper and sauté for two more minutes.
3. Now add 6 cups of chicken broth, zucchini, spices, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and add in chicken thighs. Cook for 10 minutes, until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken breasts and set aside.
4. Stir in quinoa, potatoes, and rind. Cover the pot and lower heat to medium. Cook for another ten to twelve minutes, until potatoes and quinoa are tender. Meanwhile, shred cooked chicken by tearing it apart with two forks.
5. Remove rind and bayleaf. Return shredded chicken to the pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
6. Take pot off heat and serve, topping each bowl with grated cheese, lime juice, and two tortilla chips.

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