Here is a step by step picture tutorial on how to make your own nourishing chicken soup. In our house, we use quinoa instead of noodles, but Chicken Quinoa Soup just doesn’t have the same ring to it ask Chicken Noodle Soup! So, if you prefer noodles, go ahead and skip the quinoa prep parts, but I do highly recommend you try it with quinoa instead because of the wonderful nutritious value of this super grain.
Do youself a favor when you make this – make it BIG so that you have some to freeze for the future, when you are feeling under the weather, and you need a quick hardy soup on hand. I always feel infinitely happier when I know there is frozen soup in my freezer!!
And forgive the quality of my pictures. I’m not going for a food blog award here. These are iPhone photos taken in my small messy kitchen with poor lighting. It’s real life folks. Real life.
And onward to the soup!!
Step 1: Peel and chop half an onion. Ignore the Safeway receipt.
Step 2: Sauté chopped onion with a few pats of butter in a stock pot or dutch oven.
Step 3: Peel and mince a few cloves of garlic, add to the sautéing onions
Step 4: Toast 1 cup of quinoa in a saucepan for about 6 minutes. Just quinoa in the pan, nothing else. You will know it’s done toasting when you can smell it. Don’t let it go too long or it will burn. If you need to, put a timer on it!
Step 5: Chop several stalks of celery
Step 6: Add chopped carrots. These are extra carrots and green beans that I had over the summer, so I chopped them up and tossed in a freezer bag. Perfect and easy to put in soups when you are short on time! I put them in the soup completely frozen. Freezing pre-chopped veggies is amazing and so helpful. How did I just learn about it? Life changing!!
Step 7: Add herbs. Here I am using fresh parsley. If you have it, great. If you don’t, no worries. Allow veggies to cook until softened. Also add some salt.
Step 8: By this time, you should smell your quinoa toasting up nicely. Measure 1 3/4 cups water, preferably boiling hot, but it’s ok if it’s not.
Step 9: Add the water to your quinoa
Step 10: Add a tbsp of olive oil to the pot with the water and quinoa. I don’t measure, just a quick pour.
Step 11: Add a tsp of salt to the quinoa.
Step 12: Bring quinoa to a boil, then down to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 13: Revisit your veggies. Add spices. These are my favorite cast of characters. Just a pinch or two of the turmeric will give a nice flavor. I like to be generous with the garlic salt and other seasonings. Other yummies to add are dried onion, onion salt, thyme.
Step 14: Add your cooked chopped chicken. Stir to get them covered with the flavors and cook for a minute. This is where already cooked chicken from the freezer comes in very handy – preferably if you made a roast chicken and shredded the extra meat! Also another great way to save $, one whole chicken can make several meals if you roast it, then shred it, make broth, and soup. Our family of 5 can use one 4 lb chicken for 3 meals. You rock, roast chicken!
(here it is out of the fridge)
(then chopped and in the soup!)
Step 15: Add your homemade chicken broth until the veggies are completely covered, and then some. Yes, homemade broth. It’s where all the nutrients and healing “powers” of the soup come from. Store bought broth does not have the same nutritional qualities. But if you are pressed, store bought is OK. Just promise me next time you’ll do homemade, ok?
Step 16: Bring to a boil.
Step 17: Once your quinoa is done, it should look like this. Add to your soup. I like to add all of it. I think it makes a hearty soup and keeps you full longer. Of course, if you are doing noodles instead, add the cooked noodles now.
Step 18: Check your flavors. Taste, adjust, taste taste, adjust more!! I always end up adding more salt and seasonings. Just use a clean spoon for every taste. :) And voila! Your soup is done! Super healthy, warms up up inside (which helps fight germs, too!), veggies, bone broth gelatinous goodness to keep your immunity up, and all the delights of the complete protein, high calcium, magnesium, and iron of the lovely hardy gain quinoa. Eat! Enjoy! (remember to stir well when serving because the quinoa is heavy and sinks to the bottom).