This Detox Chicken and Vegetable soup is one of the healthiest things I have ever made. But, for the love of God, PLEASE don’t confuse healthy with tasteless. You NEED to make this as soon as possible so you can see for yourself how delicious it is, and how good you feel after eating it!
Isn’t it pretty? So colorful!
It’s SUPER flavorful, hearty, warm, and soul-satisfying, even in its simplicity. It’s chock full of all kinds of vegetables (and is certainly one of those clean-out-the-fridge meals), lean shredded chicken breast meat, and simple seasonings. And by simple, I mean: salt and pepper. Yup… that’s it!
PLUS, it’s a one-pot meal that you can make in your slow cooker if you want! (See recipe notes below)
PLUS!!!! You can even make it vegetarian/vegan. (Again, see recipe notes below)
It’s Whole30 and Paleo approved, and it’s super nutritious and good for you. And if all these reasons aren’t good enough for you: this recipe also makes a ton. So get your biggest pot out to make it. Freeze the leftovers for another time.
Here’s what makes this so dang tasty, despite its simplicity.
The only seasonings are salt and pepper, and the base is chicken broth. But there are three main ingredients in this recipe that help pack some great flavor into this soup (besides the obligatory onions and garlic):
- Yellow Bell Peppers. You can throw whatever veggies you want in this soup, but try not to omit this one. I chose yellow because they are a) pretty, especially with the red tomatoes and green spinach in this recipe, and b) slightly sweet, but still “peppery.” Did you know that red bell peppers are actually the same as green- just more ripe? Yellow and orange are the “in-between” ripeness, making them a perfect balance of sweet and peppery. You probably already know that. But I just learned a few months ago and it literally blew my mind.
- Good quality canned tomatoes (and their juices). Or, boxed. Be sure when you buy canned or boxed tomatoes that you are buying San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy- they are the best of the best. I usually buy the San Marzano brand. Their rich, tangy, and sweet flavor penetrates every bite of this soup adding richness and depth.
- Poaching the chicken breasts directly in the soup. Instead of adding already cooked chicken to this recipe, whole chicken breasts are poached directly in the chicken broth base. This makes the broth even MORE chicken-ey than chicken broth alone. AND, it negates the need for using an extra pan to cook the chicken! Bowl of Delicious’s official taste tester and dish do-er (Zach, my husband), certainly appreciated this.
And guess what, guys? Today is the LAST DAY of my Whole30 challenge! But that doesn’t mean it’s over yet. The Whole30 ends with a gradual reintegration of all the foods you have eliminated over the course of a couple weeks.
The first thing I’m reintroducing starting tomorrow? WINE. Sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. I cannot tell you how much I have missed a nice glass of red wine after a long hard day at work teaching teenagers. Teachers and wine go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, if you want to get your child’s teacher an awesome present next time I strongly recommend getting them a bottle of wine.
Basically, you introduce one thing at a time, and go back to doing the Whole30 for three days. Then, you introduce another thing, and do the Whole30 again for three more days. This enables you to really pay attention to whether or not a certain ingredient is making you not feel great.
So I’ll be posting a few more Whole30/Paleo recipes before this is all said and done!
Enjoy this awesome, healthy recipe. Recipe below :-)
Detox Chicken and Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 ribs celery thinly sliced
- 2 carrots thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups chicken stock/broth
- 1 zucchini quartered and sliced
- 2 cups cauliflower florets from about 1/2 of a cauliflower
- 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 packed cups chopped fresh spinach or one package frozen
- In a large pot, sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and bell pepper in olive oil (2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat until tender and starting to brown (about 5 minutes).
- Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic; sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute)
- Add chicken broth (6 cups), zucchini, cauliflower, and the can of diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
- Add the two chicken breasts (whole), season the soup with salt and pepper, cover, and simmer on low for 25 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts, shred using two forks, and place back in pot.
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
- For a slow cooker version: add all ingredients to slow cooker except for spinach. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred, return back to the pot, and add spinach.
- For a vegetarian/vegan version: Substitute the chicken with chickpeas and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
- Freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.