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Author Notes: One of my fave things to make that's nutritious, luscious yet low-cal, fresh-tasting, and not very fussy at all since it's pretty much chop, saute, toss and simmer so it can all be done in one pot. Bonus, it's grain-free and dairy-free. I've made it half a dozen times in the fall, but it's also great for those rainy days that happen once in awhile. It freezes beautifully!
My local higher-end grocery store chain here in Minnesota (Byerly's) makes a line of frozen soups, all of which I have tried over the years, only to always forget how expensive, messy to prepare (the serving comes in a box and then vacuum-sealed in a bag you can't boil in), and high in sodium, to boot. I have successfully made three of them so far, and this is the one I feel I've mastered. I add more garlic, use LOTS less salt, and add some spice (cumin). If you're just having a cup of it with salad or sandwich, the recipe can make up to ten 1-cup servings. Since it's relatively low cal (under 180 cals for one cup), it also makes a fantastic complete meal in a bowl. —BJ Woods
tablespoons olive oil
cups onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
quarts chicken stock
pounds unpeeled carrots, chopped
pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
of an uncooked chicken, skin/bone intact
ounces fresh spinach, sliced thin
ounces fresh sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
teaspoon ground cumin
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until softened (about 2-4 minutes).
- Add the chicken stock or water (plus the 1/2 cup of water), carrots, and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and add chicken. Cook on low heat uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove chicken and set aside to cool (can be placed in the refrigerator, if you prefer).
- Puree stock and vegetables in batches until smooth. I like to use a stick blender and leave in a few small chunks of the root veggies.
- Remove the skin and bones from the chicken, and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
- Return meat to pureed broth; bring to a gentle simmer, season with salt and pepper to taste
- Add spinach and snap peas, stir in cumin, and cook until spinach is not quite yet wilted, but warmed. Taste for salt and pepper again, and serve.