Lemon Cilantro Chicken Soup

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After two fun and full months of a crazy schedule I’m feeling the need for some clean living before heading into the temptation-full holiday season. Anyone with me? I’m not talking juice cleanse craziness or green salads on repeat, I’m talking warm and cozy meals to welcome the chilly turn in the weather but full of nutritious goodies to make you feel healthy and happy. First up, Lemon Cilantro Chicken Soup. This is without question my favorite chicken soup. I’m a sucker for anything with lemon, so the addition of lemon juice to the broth along with a bunch of hearty veggies really hits the spot.

I first made this soup at a PCC knife skills cooking class I took with my sweet sis-in-law…knife skills class…that’s your hint, there is quite a bit of chopping. But truth be told it really didn’t take me that long this time around. Not sure if that’s because my knife skills have improved or because I finally have a sharp knife (life changing people, if you cook it is a must, makes everything easier) but it only took me about 10 minutes to chop everything up before cooking (highly recommended). Hope you enjoy this amazing healthy bowl of comfort as much as I do!

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Lemon Cilantro Chicken Soup, adapted from a PCC recipe, serves an army, have freezer bags ready for some easy freezer meals

The original recipe has you boil chicken breasts to make the broth from scratch and cook the protein. I cut the time considerably by using stock and pulled meat from a rotisserie chicken.

1 rotisserie chicken, use as much meat as you prefer in your soup, I used most of the chicken for a heartier soup
8 cups stock (or 2 boxes), I used chicken but veggie works too
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, chopped or sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped or sliced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 bunch cilantro, washed well and chopped
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Do yourself a favor and chop EVERYTHING before you start cooking. Seriously, it will make this a breeze.
2. In a pot over medium high heat, saute the onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally until onions begin to soften.
3. Add the garlic stir and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
4. Mix in the carrots, celery and bell peppers and saute stirring occasionally until they begin to soften and become brightly colored.
5. Add the stock and stir in the pulled chicken, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are desired tenderness.
6. Stir in the zucchini, lemon juice, cilantro and tamari (or soy sauce).
7. Season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt and/or tamari and serve immediately.

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