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Simple Homemade Chicken Quinoa Soup Recipe

Chicken Quinoa Soup Recipe

Move over chicken noodle, my chicken quinoa soup is even better.

Nothing beats a huge pot of homemade chicken soup, and while it’s incredibly good for you, the noodles that fill the pot usually aren’t. I find quinoa to be a delightful substitution that bumps up the nutrition of your soup even more.

Quinoa is a South American seed that tastes a lot like rice and other grains. It’s loaded with protein, fiber, minerals and good nutrition, and it’s easy to make. It’s also naturally gluten-free. When I prepare quinoa to eat with this soup I use homemade chicken stock instead of water to give it the same great flavor as my soup. If you don’t have enough homemade stock, use a organic store-bought stock or add a few organic bullion cubes to the water to give it flavor.

To make this soup, you essentially make a large pot of chicken stock and strain and discard what you used to make the stock. Then, use your stock with freshly chopped veggies, chicken and cooked quinoa to make your soup. You can make it right after you make your stock while it’s still hot, or prepare all of the ingredients and store them a few days ahead in the refrigerator to pull this meal together really quickly.

You can use quinoa, brown rice or even traditional noodles in this soup, I suggest pre-cooking whatever you add to the soup first instead of cooking it directly in the soup to prevent the starch from bloating the soup and absorbing most of the liquid.

Simple Homemade Chicken Quinoa Soup Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 4-5 hours (including making stock)

  • 8-10 cups of your homemade chicken stock
  • 2 cups of pulled chicken, for example from the stock making process
  • 2 large carrots, cut into half inch pieces
  • 2 large celery ribs with leaves if possible, cut into half inch pieces
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste
  • small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • about 2 cups cooked quinoa*, or substitute cooked brown or wild rice, or cooked noodles
  • 1 small lemon cut into wedges

Recipe: I like to make this right after I make homemade chicken stock (recipe here) while everything is still hot. Place all of the ingredients in a large pot over medium heat for about 20 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste based on my recommendations above. Add the cooked quinoa to the pot 10 minutes before serving to warm through. Or, add a large scoop of quinoa to the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup over the warm quinoa. Garnish with a pinch of fresh lemon juice. Serve hot and enjoy. This soup will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container up to 3 days.

*To cook quinoa, simply put it in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it for about 1 minute. Add it to a pot, then cover with double the amount of water or stock (e.g. 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water). Add a pinch of salt, bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Set a timer for 15 minutes to be sure it doesn’t burn to the pan. Cook until all of the water is absorbed, again about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and use immediately, or store in an airtight glass container up to a week in the refrigerator. 1 cup of dry quinoa will yield about 2 1/2 cups cooked.

Bon Appétit!


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  1. Elizabeth Resnick says:

    I am so excited to try this…have wonderful homemade stock in my freezer. Will be great on a snowy day!

  2. I made this soup recipe; its delicious. For years, I’ve made my own chicken stock and put into the freezer; I usually use left-over chicken carcass. My Hungarian Grandmother taught me the secret to a clear chicken broth is to never let the stock come to a rolling boil, always simmer so it barely bubbles. Elizabeth, do you have any suggestions for making a veggi stock?

  3. P.S. Elizabeth, I love your recipes and the information you post – thank you for sharing.