Last week, it was 70 degrees. This morning, it’s 31 degrees. The weather isn’t the only thing fluctuating around here…my enthusiasm for cooking seems to be taking a hiatus. Not my enthusiasm for eating, mind you. Just my enthusiasm to plan meals, go shopping, and throw some ingredients together in a cohesive way.
Now that winter is invading (whine, whine, whine), prepare to be soup bombed. A big, steaming pot of soup, stew, or chili-along with a loaf of crusty bread-is the perfect cold weather meal.
root vegetable chicken soup with quinoa (adapted slightly from Iowa Girl Eats)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 cups kale, stems removed and torn
1 garlic clove
8 cups chicken stock
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 large chicken breasts, cut in half
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (I used red, but plain will do)
1/4 up grated parmesan cheese, optional
1 – 2-inch section of parmesan cheese rind
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add kale and garlic, season with more salt and pepper, then sauté for 2 more minutes. Add 7 cups of chicken stock, parsley flakes, thyme, bay leaf, and parmesan cheese rind. Bring to a boil.
Add chicken breasts to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate. Add sweet potato, russet potato, and quinoa to the simmering soup. Cover pot with a lid, lower heat and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked. Meanwhile shred the chicken.
Add shredded chicken back to the pot and remove bay leaf. Stir in parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use reserved cup of chicken stock for reheating, as soup will thicken as it cools.