Recipe of the Week – Chicken Vegetable Quinoa Soup
Man, you guys. This recipe. It started out so promising! But a combination of not having the right equipment AND not really reading the directions all the way through before I started turned this into a hot mess. So, first, the recipe called for a 6 quart crock pot – turns out the crock pot I own is only 2.5 quarts. Yikes. Then, I didn’t quite read through the recipe before I started cooking so I had to make some adjustments on the fly. But, this soup actually turned out really good, even with all my blunders!
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can corn
- 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
- 1/2 cup celery, sliced
- 1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon chicken seasoning blend
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and Pepper
*Quick note about the spices – I didn’t have Cajun seasoning and I used Trader Joes everyday seasoning as the chicken seasoning. Adding spices to soup is always tricky and I will probably add more of each spice next time I make this!
First, I chopped the onion, celery and carrots, drained the corn and pinto beans, and rinsed the quinoa. I also trimmed the fat from the chicken and cut it up into smaller pieces – the recipe called for cutting the chicken breasts into 3 large pieces but I, one, didn’t read that before I started chopping and two, since my crock pot was smaller I wanted to make sure my chicken didn’t take forever to cook.
Ok. At this point I had to get creative, since my crock pot is way smaller than what the recipe called for. I ended up putting a little less than half of each ingredient in the crock pot, and kind of guessing on how much spice to add.
Once everything was added, I added about 2 cups of chicken stock and turned the crock pot on and let it go!
Then….I had alllll this leftover. Yikes.
So, I just decided to make another version in a regular soup pot!
I cooked the carrots, onions celery and chicken until the vegetables were a little soft and the chicken was slightly browned on the outside. I added in the rest of the ingredients and let the soup simmer until everything was cooked! It was ready in less than and hour – when the quinoa was cooked, the rest of the soup was ready.
About hour 2.5 of the crock pot version of this soup, I fished out the chicken pieces and chopped them into smaller pieces and added them back into the pot.
After another hour and half, the crock pot version of this soup was ready!
Ok. The crock pot version is in the left bowl and the soup pot version is in the right bowl. To be completely honest with you, they both tasted relatively the same. Like, so much the same that I dumped both versions into the same Tupperware to store in the fridge. But, despite all the craziness that happened when I was cooking, it was good! Definitely a good fall soup to keep in my recipe book. I’ve never added quinoa to soup before, and I really liked having it in there. Next time I would also take the original chef’s advice and add some toppings on the soup like avocado or fresh cilantro – this soup needed some green on it for sure!
What are your favorite fall soup recipes? I can’t wait to keep using my crock pot (and soup pots!) Let me know your favorites in the comments!