Healthy Harvest Chicken Soup

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When it’s this cold out I only crave comfort food (and a vacation). This mainly consists of macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, hot chocolate…..basically anything warm and creamy. The one caveat is soup which can be sneaky healthy while also being exactly what I want. This soup is hearty with chicken, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, kale and sans carbs (ergo, the side of bread you’ll see in most these pictures). It is extremely satiating, flavorful, easy to make and perfect for this time of year. I suggest consuming this while shopping online for flights to Mexico…. if you find any good deals call me- I’m in.

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Inspired by HowSweetEats

Serves 3-4

You’ll need:

1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cubed

1 teaspoons salt

0.5 teaspoons pepper

0.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper

0.25 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1 leek, cleaned and sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 generous cup of 0.5 inch cubed butternut squash

1 generous cup of 0.5 inch cubed sweet potato

0.5 bunch of kale, torn into bite sized pieces from stems

32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock

Freshly grated parmesan or pecorino (optional)

2 tablespoons butter (optional)

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To clean leeks: chop off ends and peel any rough layers from the outside. Slice and place in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with water and using your hands, continually toss leeks to loosen any dirt. Do this for a few minutes. Remove and place on a towel to dry.

Toss chopped chicken with 0.5 teaspoon of salt and 0.25 teaspoon of pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoons olive oil. Add in chicken in one layer and cook until golden brown on each side – about 2-3 minutes per side. This will splatter and be a little stressful but this is the price we pay for nicely browned chicken. Once finished, remove with a large slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Reduce heat to low, adding remaining olive oil and toss in leeks with remaining salt and pepper. Stir to coat, then let cook for 5-6 minutes until soft.

Add in garlic and stir, cooking for 1 minute, then toss in carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, torn kale and cooked chicken. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 20 minutes, until potatoes and squash are soft but not mushy.

While the soup is cooking, heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Stir until brown bits appear on the bottom and then immediately remove from heat, stirring for another 30 seconds or so.

Before serving soup, add in some grated parmesan cheese and stir well. Stir in the browned butter. You deserve it this soup has all the worlds vegetables. Top with extra parmesan.

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