31 Days of Healthy Deliciousness, Day 4: Warm Spice Chicken Soup

Take me straight to the recipe.

There’s nothing more comforting than a great bowl of chicken soup.

Warm Spice Chicken Soup was a fan-favorite of 2019, and is equally as popular in our family. This soup has everything we need to feed our bodies and our souls – it’s nutritious, beautiful, aromatic and inviting. And, sooo delicious. This soup is comfort personified.

In addition to the obvious comfort that is chicken soup, this version gets gets an extra boost of warmth from the inclusion of flavors like ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes, as well as the use of leeks and fresh basil.

Wonderfully fragrant, brightly flavored and delicious, this chicken soup is also a great source of protein, fiber, potassium and iron to ensure that both your body and soul are nourished.

We eat with our eyes…and beautiful food gets finished first.

Presentation matters, especially when healthy eating is the goal, and this soup looks just as good as it tastes. Color is important to creating an inviting and attractive dish, and this soup is a bright medley of greens, orange, white and gold.

Texture matters, even with soup.

With a broth that is fresh and light, there’s plenty of room for a variety of textures. Tender carrots and celery are surrounded by large hunks of moist chicken. Chopped asparagus and shredded cabbage are added to the soup just before serving, to ensure an extra pop of color and crunch in every bite.

The result is a pleasingly aromatic and delicious soup that can be on your table in about an hour, from start to finish. To save time at the end of the day, you can get the veggies prepped up to a day in advance, and even measure out your ingredients so they’re ready whenever you’re ready.

We’d love to hear from you if you make our Warm Spice Chicken Soup, or any of the recipes featured during our 31 Days of Healthy Deliciousness, and let us know what feeds you, body and soul.

31 Days of Healthy Deliciousness

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Day 1 – Tuscan Bean Salad
Day 2 – Superfood Salad with Kale, Quinoa & Sweet Potato
Day 3 – Baked Cod with Red Onion & Caper Vinaigrette
Day 4 – Warm Spice Chicken Soup

Warm Spice Chicken Soup

  • Servings: Makes 3 to 3 1/2 quarts
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Ingredients:2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, green tops removed, washed, quartered and cut into small pieces (about 1 cup)
2 cups celery, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
3 quarts low-sodium chicken stock, divided
1 quart water
3 cups carrots, sliced into rounds ¼-inch thick
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large sprig of fresh basil
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup white cabbage, shredded
¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

In lieu of chicken breast, you could add fresh shrimp (peeled and deveined) or scallops just a few minutes before ready to serve. Cook shrimp in the soup until pink in color and cook scallops until just opaque.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, fresh ginger and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until the celery softens, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the whole chicken breasts, 2 quarts of chicken stock, the quart of water, carrots, vinegar, crushed red pepper, basil, turmeric and salt; cook over medium-high heat until boiling.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken breasts are fully cooked. To check for doneness, remove one breast and slice open in the center – the color should be white and opaque.

Once cooked, use tongs to remove chicken breast from the liquid and transfer to a cutting board to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the basil sprig and add the remaining quart of chicken stock. Continue to let the soup simmer on the lowest heat sitting for 10 minutes.

Once the chicken has cooled, use two forks to shred the breasts into strips, then stir them back into the soup.

For best texture and color, add the chopped asparagus, cabbage and parsley two minutes before serving, stirring to incorporate. Taste the soup and add seasoning as desired. Serve hot.

To store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Sarah’s Tips:

  • This soup is versatile, and the asparagus and cabbage could be replaced with other vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.
  • For a heartier version, whole grains (like farro, quinoa or barley) or a delicate pasta like egg noodles or acini di pepe may be added.

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