When I put on a big pot of soup to cook it's because I want to eat something warm, hearty and comforting. I'm one of those rare people who enjoys eating soup year round, even in the middle of summer. Weather is in great flux this time of year and Chicago is experiencing days of spring-like weather and then drops in temp, so I want soup that's comforting, but a little on the lighter side. The lemon + chicken + Italian seasoning in the soup remind me of the flavors you'd find in traditional lemon Greek chicken.
With a healthy dose of fresh lemon juice, the Lemony Chicken & Quinoa Soup will perk up your taste buds. Lemons are an absolute staple in our household. We use them for dressing, sauces, marinades and more!
Why do I love lemons?
Lemons, like other citrus fruit, are loaded with Vitamin C - one of the most important antioxidants and immune supporters.
Adding lemon juice or zest (from the peel) adds balance, brightness and a punch of flavor to any dish.
Lemons can stay fresh on your counter for up to a week, but be sure to keep them away from sunlight.
Utilizing a handful of simple ingredients, the recipe comes together in under 30 minutes. I had leftover baked chicken from earlier in the week I took off the bone and chopped, but a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store can be used as well. Chunky vegetables, quinoa, chicken broth, and chicken simmer together and finished with lemon juice. To make the soup a little more interesting and add a touch of creaminess, I add little coconut milk at the end. You can leave it out if you prefer a more classic soup.
Lemony Chicken & Quinoa Soup
Time: 20-25 minutes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 box organic free range chicken broth
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1/3 cup dry quinoa
2 cups chicken breast, shredded
2 large lemons, juiced
2 Tablespoons full fat coconut milk (optional, but adds tang and creaminess)
Heat a soup pot over medium high heat add 1 teaspoon olive oil and start by sauteing the onion, celery and carrot. Sweat for 6-7 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for one additional minute.
Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, broth and quinoa.
Cover, bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down and let simmer for a few minutes.
Add the chicken and let the soup simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
At the lemon juice and stir, cooking for 1-2 more minutes.
Stir in optional coconut milk.