Chicken Kale Quinoa Soup

This is my favorite soup recipe! It's delicious and packed with good-for-you things! You've got your grains, protein and veggies, all in one dish! Plus, it's perfect for a cold winter day, like what will descend on us this weekend. 

This recipe comes from My Recipes, a division of Time Inc. Food Collection and Time Inc. Lifestyle Network.  It has all the fashionable foods in it — kale, quinoa, chicken thighs, bacon — but who said fashionable foods weren't tasty? 

I haven't changed anything in this recipe (why mess with perfection?) except add more kale. I've found that the average-sized bunch from the store is enough for two recipes (or just double it if you have a lot of people to feed), so you can add extra to the soup or plan for another kale dish somewhere else in the week. 

* If you aren't into bacon, this recipe is fine without it. The bacon is a garnish and the drippings are used to to cook the veggies, so you can replace that with butter or coconut oil. 

I like to pair this with some crusty bread for dipping, but it's certainly hearty enough by itself! 

Chicken Kale Quinoa Soup

• 4 bacon slices from 1907 Meat Co.
• 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
• 3/4 cup chopped carrot
• 1 teaspoon salt, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
• 6 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs from 1907 Meat Co., cut into 3/4 inch pieces
• 6 cups chicken stock or broth
• 2 bay leaves
• 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
• 6 cups chopped kale
• 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
• Cooking spray

Cook bacon on a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until done. Remove from pot and crumble; set aside for garnish. Leave the drippings in the pot.

Increase heat to medium-high and add onion, carrot and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté about five minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot (extra flavor!). Add garlic and cook for two minutes. Remove onion, carrot and garlic mixture from pan and set aside. 

Coat pan with cooking spray and add chicken, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté about six minutes, until chicken is browned and done.  

Stir in onion, carrot and garlic mixture, chicken broth, remaining salt and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. 

Rinse quinoa well and add to pot; cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and begins to spiral out. 

Add kale and thyme; simmer uncovered for about five minutes, until kale is tender. 

Serve with bacon crumbles and enjoy!

Let us know what you think! 

Sally Asher is the Communications Coordinator at 1907 Meat Co.