We were all sick last week, with fevers hovering around 102, and all I wanted was some chicken soup. I thought of going out to the store, but it was too much effort; I also thought maybe a friend would bring me some, but then I didn’t want to call and sound pathetic on the phone. After a little while of wishing, I knew I wasn’t going to get any unless I made it myself.
I didn’t have any noodles on hand, but not only that, I didn’t want to add something made out of white flour, especially if I was trying to get better. Then I remembered I had some quinoa in the freezer. Quinoa is like a grain, but is actually a seed. If you cook it up right, it can actually be very much like couscous. It has a chewy texture with a slight crunch, and is a fantastic, healthy alternative to rice or other grains. Look for it in the bulk section of the health food store—that’s the least expensive way to go.
Chicken Soup with Quinoa
1/2 onion, diced
6 carrots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
4 cups good chicken stock (I buy the Kitchen Basics brand)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, cut in strips
1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1. In a large pot set over low heat, cook the onions and carrots in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and quinoa, and cook for about a minute. Pour in chicken stock, raise the heat to medium, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to achieve the taste you want.
2. Add in the chicken and simmer on low for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook for a minute or two more. Serve.