Some days (both healthy and sick) you just need chicken soup. Those days are pretty frequent for me in the winter, and I find myself lazily pulling a “healthy” pre-packaged box (why is all the organic/natural soup sold in boxes now?) from the shelf at WF more than I would like to admit. So recently I decided I needed to kick the habit and make something much more delicious, hearty, and wholesome than the store-bought, preservative-filled kind. This creation completely converted me to homemade soup and was way easier than I had anticipated- even without a dutch oven!
The best part about making soup or stews is that you can pretty much ad-lib in any way you please. It was actually hard for me to think about measurements while making this for the blog, because the first couple of times I made it I just threw in however much of each ingredient I wanted (aka super heavy on the squash and herbs). But if you like to follow directions to a tee, what you see listed below should work out excellently. Also, if you’re like me, and have little meat-cooking experience, it is pretty much impossible to go wrong cooking this chicken. Due to the fact that it cooks in broth and with so many flavors, it can’t dry out or taste bland. Win-win!
Not only is this stew super easy and comforting for the winter, it is also full of superfood ingredients that will keep your body happy too. As you can see from my new nifty nutrition fact box, there is an abundance of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and vitamins in one bowl. I added one extra health boost by topping the stew with roasted chickpeas (every soup needs that extra crunch), but you could also make homemade croutons or throw on some crispy bacon if you’re feeling indulgent. Feel free to play around with vegetables, such as different root vegetables, or spices- thyme, bay leaves, or oregano could be delicious as well. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the making and consuming of this soup so much that you’ll also be a homemade soup convert (or at least 85% of the time, like me)! :)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces or smaller
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 lb chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 cups chicken broth (I used full-sodium because you choose your battles, right? but if you’re worried about sodium, go with the lo-so version)
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 5 cups kale, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix butternut squash with 1/2 to 1 tbsp olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Place on rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned.
- Remove butternut squash from oven and let sit. Toss chickpeas with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. (You want these to finish or at least stay warm until serving- they get strange texture when sitting at room temperature.)
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Remove onion and garlic mixture from the pot and add chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is just cooked through.
- Add in chicken broth and onion/garlic mixture and bring to a boil.
- Add in quinoa and rosemary. Turn down heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes or so.
- Add in kale and roasted squash and cook 5 more minutes, or until kale is wilted and quinoa is thoroughly cooked. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Ladle stew into 4 bowls and top with roasted chickpeas and a rosemary sprig!