It’s winter, time for colds and flues and general icky-ness. This feel-good recipe makes the most of healing ingredients to help you get back on your feet and feeling great. Ingredients like green tea (full of antioxidants), lentils (good carbs to keep your energy up), quinoa and chicken (protein to fuel your immune system), garlic (a natural antibiotic), spinach, zucchini and carrots (vitamins and minerals necessary to help you heal).
I like to use double-concentrated tomato paste because it comes in a tube that you can keep in your fridge for ages. If you would rather use the canned tomato paste just use twice as much.
It may seem strange to wash the quinoa but it is a good idea. Quinoa has an outer chemical coating called saponin that is toxic and will give you a stomachache if you eat it. Most commercially sold quinoa has already had this coating removed so chances are you don’t need to wash your quinoa, however if you bought it from the bulk section or if your bag says “whole grain” then you probably need to wash it. There is no harm in doing it and it only takes a couple of minutes so I say, “Better safe than sorry”. Plus, since you are already rinsing the quinoa, you might as well rinse the lentils too. This will clear away any dirt, twigs or bugs that may have accompanied your lentils home.
If making this recipe Paleo just leave out the lentils.
Mix the tea, stock and tomato paste together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Place the quinoa and lentils in a fine mesh strainer then rinse in cold water for a few minutes. If you do not have a fine mesh strainer you can place them in a bowl, fill it with cold water, wait a few minutes then skim any scum from the surface of the bowl. Drain the water out by holding a spatula or plate over the edge of the bowl and gently tipping it to let out the water, while the spatula holds back the grains.
Add the quinoa and lentils to the saucepan and turn the heat down and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat some non-stick spray in a small skillet and sauté the garlic and ground chicken for a few minutes until the chicken browns, then add the chicken and garlic to the soup.
Add the spinach, zucchini and carrot to the soup and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Test the lentils for doneness, when they are soft the soup is done. If they are still hard in the middle, let them cook 5 more minutes then test again.
Pour it into your favorite bowl and eat it with your fuzzy slippers on.