Many people today are trying to cut out carbohydrates from their diet, or at least reduce them. There is some evidence that eating low carbs is a healthier way to eat, although there are some that dispute this. Nevertheless, people are looking for low carb foods and recipes.
Many of the chicken soup recipes call for white rice and/or some kind of pasta – both of which have can increase carb intake. We created this recipe to be equally “comforting” as any other chicken soup, wholly nutritious, and so tasty that you’ll likely go back for seconds. The biggest difference to other “traditional” chicken soup recipes is the addition of chopped spinach – a vegetable with loads of nutrition and especially high in magnesium – a mineral that apparently we don’t get enough of these days in our regular diets.
We often view recipe “ingredient lists” as guidelines – feel free to adjust the amounts for your own taste buds’ desires. Some people may want to cut down on the amount of garlic, but we think you should try it with the amount listed! And as mentioned in another recipe, we’ll give you a “Bonus Tip” below, to learn how you can increase the health benefits of cooked garlic.
The recipe base calls for chicken broth or stock. You can, of course, make your own with chicken (old fashioned recipes have you using a whole chicken simmering in water for hours and hours, or you could also make a chicken bone broth). We went with a commercial chicken stock that we like to have on hand when we’ve not had time to make our own homemade chicken or bone broth. It’s up to you.
Because there is salt added to the commercial chicken stock, we did not find the need to add any additional salt to the soup ingredient list.
How To Make Your Soups Really Sparkle!
Perhaps you’ve had the experience of, going to great lengths to make homemade soup (of any kind) and although you’ve added some great spices and ingredients, the flavour just seems to fall on the flat side. We’ve got a little tip to help you avoid that: Add a small amount of an acid like vinegar or some lemon juice. The addition of an acid to soup is often the difference between “Yeah, it’s okay,” to “Wow, this is great! May I have seconds, please?”
For our low-carb and nutritious chicken soup, this is how we made it:
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
900 ml Chicken Broth
1 medium diced yellow onion
2 medium-size carrots, chopped or diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Kirian Greek Oregano
1 Teaspoon dried Sage
1 Teaspoon dried Rosemary
2 Bay leaves
2 large Chicken Breasts chopped into bitesize pieces (you can also use leftover chicken that you’ve previously roasted – a great way to deal with the leftovers!)
150 Grams Frozen chopped Spinach (Our supermarket sells frozen spinach in 300-gram packages that contain two blocks of 150 grams each)
Freshly squeezed juice of half a small lemon
Ground pepper to taste
Making Chicken Spinach Soup
In a large pot, add the olive oil and heat on medium-low.
Chop the garlic and set aside. Why? We’ll tell you why you should set it aside below.
Dice the onion and add to the olive oil, gently sauteeing until the onion is translucent in colour.
Add the diced garlic and continue sauteeing in the olive oil.
Add the chicken broth to the pot and increase the heat to between medium and medium-high. Add the carrots, celery, Greek oregano, sage, rosemary and bay leaves.
As the broth comes to a boil, add the frozen block of chopped spinach and then the chicken breast pieces. Bring the broth back to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Add the lemon juice.
Allow to simmer for half an hour and then … “Kali orexi!” “Bon appetite!” Enjoy the soup as a side to a main dish, or have it for lunch. Add some freshly ground black pepper to your bowl of soup.
Garlic Health Tip Bonus
Many people know that garlic can have many health benefits, but are unaware that cooking reduces them significantly – unless you do one thing. But first, let’s discuss one of the ways garlic is very healthy:
Although it does not actually contain them, compounds called “allicins” are formed when raw garlic is exposed to the air. When you cook garlic immediately after chopping, shredding, crushing, or however you decide to prepare it, there is not enough time for these allicins to develop.
Allicin compounds have been shown to be anti-bacterial and may even be able to prevent or help fight the common cold virus. More research is needed on this, but one scientific paper suggests that it showed some effect in cold virus prevention.
So your bonus health tip for using garlic is to let it sit for 20 to 40 minutes before you add it to whatever you are cooking. This allows the allicins to develop with exposure to the air, and you’ll get the health benefits if indeed they exist.
But don’t eat this just for the health benefits of both the garlic and Greek oregano! Enjoy it for its warming effects, the aroma of it cooking in your kitchen, and for the wonderful taste it imparts to your tongue!