Who doesn’t like a good, warm bowl of chicken soup? We grew up with a lot of homemade chicken soup, but we also cracked open a package of Lipton’s on a Sunday night with grilled cheese from time to time. My Mother would help out with the boiling water and soup, and my siblings and I would be lined up along the counter putting the butter on the bread and slapping a piece of Kraft single sliced cheese in between for an oven baked grilled cheese! Yes, we had prepared foods every now and then, because sometimes to make a meal hearty and comforting, you need it a little quicker. Nourishment is the key. When I played around with my own chicken soup recipe once when I had left-over chicken that I wanted to use in a different way, and some fresh collards from the garden, I was just comforted by the hearty feeling of all of the nutrition in my bowl, but also brought back to my childhood. And it happened to be a meal I enjoyed with my whole family too.
- 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
- 2 Large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 Butternut squash *see note below
- 1 Sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 Yellow onion, chopped
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 stalks Celery, diced
- 4 Cups No-salt added Chicken Broth (or homemade)
- 1-2 Cups Water
- 4 Cups Left-over or store-bought chicken, skin removed and shredded
- 1 Tbsp Fresh (or dried) Parsley
- ½ tsp Each, dried thyme, rosemary, and oregano
- Pinch Ground pepper to taste
- 1 Small bunch of kale or collards, washed and chopped
- Preheat oven to 450 o Fahrenheit.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If using a whole butternut squash, cut it in half, take the seeds out and place on the baking sheet, skin side down. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
- Prepare carrots, sweet potato, garlic and ½ of the onion as indicated. Toss the ingredients in 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and place on second baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast with butternut squash. (*Note: there should be approximately 20-25 minutes left on the timer now).
- While the vegetables are roasting, peel and chop the remaining onion and celery stalks. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the celery and onion and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the broth, 1 Cup of water, and herbs and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, wash and cut the kale into small pieces and place in a bowl. This will be added right at the end of the cooking process.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, add to the pot. Carefully slice, peel and cube the squash and add as well. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup contents, leaving some vegetables still in chunks. You may need to add the extra cup of water here.
- Once at the desired consistency, add the shredded chicken breast and kale to the soup pot and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for about 5-10 minutes (or it can stay on low heat for up to an hour).
- Adjust with any seasonings if necessary.
- Serve when ready!
- If you want to peel and chop the butternut squash yourself, you can do so and add it in with all of the vegetables. Alternatively, you can purchase cubed squash already.
- If using raw chicken breasts, you can either bake them separate or allow chicken to cook in the broth for about 45 minutes. If poaching the chicken as such, add it to the broth after step 4 in the directions above. Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the broth, add the vegetables and puree, and then you can shred chicken into pieces and add back into the soup.