The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Quick & Healthy Chicken and Lemon Soup

Lunches can be a challenge when you are trying to follow your commitment to eat healthy meals, thats why so many of us revert to the humble sandwich but as we have discussed in previous blog, eating a sandwich at lunchtime is actually going to set you up for weight gain…even if you eat one of those plastic fantastic calorie counted ones the supermarkets offer.

Soup really is the savour of waistlines, you make rustle up a soup that is high in protein, antioxidants and fibre in just minutes and once you have mastered a few basic chopping skills you will wonder what ever stopped you from unleashing your inner Nigella before.

So, onto the Chicken & Lemon Soup

If like me you had a roast chicken at the weekend and have all but stripped the poor bird bare, wait a moment before you throw her out.  Because I would like to share with you a delicious and nutritious soup recipe that takes only about 30  mins to prepare and will keep you feeling full all afternoon.  The addition of fresh lemon to this hearty soup really lifts the flavours and takes that humble old bird carcus to a new level.  Don’t be put off by the steps for making your own stock, this really is the most simple soup ever.. and you can feel doubly virtuous as you enjoy a big bowl full that not only are you eating a healthy and nutritious home cooked meal but you have also wasted nothing, we are really keen on that at The Body Retreat.

This soup make a great lunch if you are trying to stick to your healthy eating commitment or if you are detoxing from all the Christmas excess.  We make a version of this soup on our Weight Loss Retreat that I call Irish Granny’s Soup as it has the addition of pot barley too.  If you are a vegetarian you can replace the chicken with a can of rinsed chick peas but will also need to add a good quality veg stock like Marigold Bullion.

(you can freeze this soup or it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days)

Serves 6
  • 1 Chicken Carcus
  • 1 Leek, sliced
  • 3 Sticks Celery, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 large leaves Savoy Cabbage
  • 1 sml head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 25gm Frozen Broad Beans
  • 25gm Frozen Peas
  • Few springs fresh thyme or tsp of dried is ok too.
  • Grated rind of full Lemon
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Ok first things first…its time to get all that last lovely goodness from you bird.  Place the carcus in a large pot and cover with about 1.5 lts boiling water.  Bring to a gentle simmer on the stove and cover and leave to just bubble away for about 20 mins.

You can now get on with chopping your veggies, there is no right or wrong way, just small enough so that you can get a variety of veggies in one spoonfull.

Now for the messy bit…and ill admit i always wear a pair of rubber gloves for these, i keep a box of disposable gloves in the kitchen for jobs just like this. Take the pot of the stove and allow to cooler for a moment or tow, then lie the carcus out of the stock flaking off any last little bits of meat that by now will be falling off the bones. Discard the carcus and before you add the veggies just need to have a check that no small bones have fallen into the stock.

Add the veggies expect the broccoli, beans and peas and the thyme and bring back to a gentle simmer for 10 mins.  Then add the broccoli, beans and peas…you can add the beans and peas straight form the freezer there is no need to defrost.

Finally , grate over the zest of a whole lemon and add a little salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste.

And that is it.  Just a few simple steps to make a delicious and nutritious soup that is perfect for lunchtime.

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