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Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

 

up close bowl wide

 

With temperatures beginning to drop here in central Texas, a hearty soup can really hit the spot. This slow cooker recipe for chicken, kale, and quinoa is out of this world and incredibly healthy…  You won’t believe how easy!!!...

This soup is loaded with with nutrition and you get plenty of protein from the chicken, quinoa, kale and beans. It’s so hearty and filling and amazingly delicious, that it’s hard to believe it’s actually good for you. I added a bit of lemon juice because I love the way lemon pairs with both quinoa and kale. I also chose to add in the beans because I like a soup with plenty of body, I’m not into those really brothy soups unless I’m sick or something. We need sustenance... If I’m going to have soup as my main meal then it better be loaded. Which also means of course I couldn’t leave out the cheese. Everything is better with a little bit of cheese sprinkled over it. If you are really aiming to be healthy you could leave it off but I say it’s worth the calories to add a tablespoon or two of parmesan. That’s the great thing about parmesan, thanks to it’s sharp flavor, a little of it will go a long way without adding a huge amount of calories. Enjoy! 

 

Ingredients

 

 

• 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (raw) 

• 1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium onion)

• 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• 3/4 cup dry quinoa

• 1/2 tsp dried thyme

• 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

• 4 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (7 cups)

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 (15.5 oz) can Great Northern or Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

• 4 cups packed kale, roughly chopped (thick ribs chopped and discarded)

• 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

• 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

• Finely shredded parmesan cheese, for serving

 

 

 

up close bowl

Directions

  

• 1.   Add chicken to a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker, then add onions, celery and garlic, then drizzle with olive oil. Add quinoa (for a more firm textured quinoa add during last 30 minutes to 1 hour of cooking, per reviewers comments), thyme, rosemary and pour in chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 1/2 - 4 hours or LOW 7 - 8 hours.

kale chicken in pot

• 2.    Remove chicken, let rest 10 minutes then cut into bite size pieces and return to soup. Meanwhile, add in beans, kale, parsley and lemon juice, then cover and continue to cook on HIGH heat another 10 - 20 minutes until kale has reached desired doneness. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese.