Anything But Ordinary Chicken Soup
There’s more to chicken soup than that warm, soothing and comforting flavor that makes us feel better when we’re sick. The warm broth, created by an amino acid released while chicken cooks, can reduce cold symptoms. Chicken soup is a great vessel for a variety of unique vegetables and ingredients. This recipe features Swiss chard and beets, which contain many of the health benefits of kale. Beets also have phytonutrients known to support the nervous system and eye health. Garlic is key to flavoring soup but also battles infection and bacteria. The secret flavor weapon in this soup is turkey bacon. Turkey contains selenium, which is known to decrease recovery time and muscle weakness by fending off the harmful byproducts of strenuous exercise.
In a large stockpot, sauté ½ cup, each, diced onion, celery and carrot with 1 tablespoon olive oil. After 5 minutes, add 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary, 5 slices diced turkey bacon and 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour and sauté for another 2–3 minutes. Add 2 cartons (8 cups) low-sodium chicken stock and bring to a low boil. Next add 2 heaping cups red and/or yellow beets, cut into 1-inch cubes, along with the meat picked from one rotisserie chicken. Cover and let simmer for 30–40 minutes until the beets are cooked through. Lastly, add 6 cups chopped Swiss chard, including thin stems, turn the heat off and let sit covered for 10 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Customize this recipe by adding other veggies, wild rice, beans or lentils.