During the cold winter months there is nothing better than warm bowl of soup. Chicken Quinoa Kale Soup is a healthy dinner that can be made in just 35 minutes. Not only is this a delicious soup recipe it reheats wonderfully for great leftovers! You can even substitute the chicken for turkey to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers!
I don't reserve soup recipes just for winter months! Even in warm Florida weather soup is a great comforting meal that is delicious, healthy and quick! I also love making soup recipes because it's a great way to use up ingredients in the fridge that may not be crisp enough for salads.
INGREDIENTS in Chicken Quinoa Soup
- olive oil
- chicken broth
- fresh thyme
- bay leaf
- rotisserie chicken
The ingredients that I used in the chicken quinoa kale soup are mostly vegetables making this soup extremely healthy but it has wonderful flavor from the sauteed onion and garlic.
What is Quinoa?
So what exactly is quinoa (pronounced Keen- wah) and what is quinoa good for? I think most people have the misconception that quinoa is a grain, but actually it’s a seed from a plant. Why this little seed is so impressive is because it has 8 grams of protein per cup. Quinoa is gluten free and has many vitamins and minerals too!
What is better for you: quinoa or brown rice?
Quinoa is higher in fiber and has more protein than brown rice, making it a great alternative. It can easily be substituted in any dish calling for rice. If you haven’t experimented with it give quinoa a try! It does cook similarly to rice -in either a simmering pot of chicken broth or water for about 15 minutes.
How to make Chicken Quinoa Soup?
This soup recipe is so easy to make and takes very little time. Once you have your vegetables chopped you will saute them in a large pot with a little olive oil. This will bring out the wonderful flavor of the onion and garlic which is the base for many soup recipes. I know my vegetables are ready when the carrots are tender, not mushy and the onions are translucent in color.
Always add the garlic when the other vegetables are finished cooking because it has a tendency turn burn. Minced garlic needs only 30 seconds to a minute to cook.
Then add the chicken broth, seasoning and quinoa allowing it to cook for about 10 minutes. Even though quinoa is a seed it cooks very similarly to rice. It takes about 15 minutes to cook in simmering pot of broth or water.
Once the quinoa has cooked and absorbed the chicken broth add the chicken and kale. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes so the chicken warms through and the kale cooks a bit. At this point your soup is ready to serve!
What to serve with Chicken Quinoa Kale Soup?
I love a good soup that has everything included in one pot- protein, veggies and carbs.
It’s an easy meal that really needs nothing else, however you can always serve it with crackers or a baguette slice. If you have a hungry family to feed make grilled cheese sandwiches to eat along with the soup!
substitutions for Chicken quinoa kale soup
I know sometimes we forget to check the pantry before we start cooking dinner so here’s a few substitution ideas if you are in a time crunch!
- wild or brown rice instead of quinoa (adjust cooking time)
- leftover turkey (great meal to make with leftover Thanksgiving turkey)!
- vegetable broth for chicken broth
- spinach for kale
- and you can always add more veggies!
Tips for making soup
Soup is easy and a pretty forgiving recipe. You can add lots of different vegetable combinations as long as you chop them some what uniformly. This insures the vegetables cook evenly.
Always saute your onions and garlic to bring out the flavor and soften- there’s nothing worse than crunchy onions in soup.
Leftover Chicken Quinoa Kale Soup
In my family we call leftovers “planned overs”. I prefer having a little leftover for my work lunch the next day. It makes my meal prep so much easier too! This soup is perfect to warm up the next day making it a great meal for leftovers.
I simply warm up in the microwave if I’m at work. You may need to add a spoonful of water if the quinoa continued to absorb the chicken broth.
Pin For Later!
If you try this recipe for Chicken Quinoa Kale Soup, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bluesbestlife on Instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day.
Chicken Quinoa Kale Soup
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups baby kale, stems removed
- 2 cups cooked chicken *I used rotisserie
- Place large pot over medium heat. Add tablespoon of olive oil.
- Chop celery, carrots and onion and add to pot. Stir occasionally watching onions to not burn. Once vegetables have become tender about 10 minutes-add garlic and stir for an additional minute.
- Add chicken broth and spices and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling add quinoa, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes add kale and chicken and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.