Chicken + Vegetable Soup with Quinoa

chicken_veg_soupI love making soup in the winter – it’s a great way to pack lots of veggies into your diet, plus a steaming bowl of soup is very comforting when it’s cold outside.

A quick 15 minutes spent chopping is all it takes to make this hearty chicken and vegetable soup – you can then leave it to bubble away happily for an hour, and it’ll give you about 4-6 bowlfuls. Adding quinoa towards the end of the cooking time gives a bit more texture and makes it a little more filling.

Using chicken thighs means you get extra flavour – leave them bone in to cook and then strip the meat off afterwards. Alternatively you can use leftover roast chicken and add towards the end of cooking.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chilli, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pints chicken stock
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small dice or thin slices
  • 0.5 swede, peeled and cut into small dice
  • handful dried wild mushrooms (optional)
  • 4 skinless free range chicken thighs
  • 100g shredded kale
  • half a preserved lemon (or juice of half a fresh lemon) seeds removed
  • 50 grams quinoa
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • Grated Parmesan to serve (optional)

How to

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan and gently fry the onion, leeks and garlic for a good five minutes until soft and golden.

2. Add the carrots, swede, celery, chicken thighs (leave them whole and bone in), chilli and bay leaves. Leave to sizzle and cook for a few minutes,

3. Now pour in the stock, mushrooms (if using) and preserved lemon and bring to a gentle simmer.  Cook covered for around one hour, until the stock has reduced and the vegetable are super soft.

3. Remove the chicken thighs and allow to cool slightly before carefully removing from the bone and roughly tearing or dicing the cooked meat into strips.

4. Return the chicken to the pan with the kale and quinoa. Bring back to a simmer for a few minutes and then turn off the heat and cover the pan. Leave for 10 -15 minutes without heat to allow the quinoa to do its job and soak up some of the liquid.

5. Check the taste and season with black pepper if needed – you can also add a little extra water if you need to thin it down (or indeed the day after, flavours get better too!).  Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan and fresh parsley to serve.

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