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Easy Chicken Soup with a Leafy Twist Recipe

Try Chicken Soup with Beet Greens to Stay Warm on Frosty Days

On cold days, there’s nothing better than a large, hot bowl of chicken soup to thaw your bones and steam your face. I have a great twist on chicken soup that helps you use left over chicken and the tops of beets. Instead of cranking open a lackluster can of chicken soup or spending hours cooking a pot of soup on the stove, just follow these easy steps to make a flavorful chicken soup that will leave you satisfied.

This is a easy and fast soup to make with chicken, beet greens and garbanzo beans. Photo by Christine Willmsen

This is an easy and fast soup to make with chicken, beet greens and garbanzo beans. Photo by Christine Willmsen

As a single person I often have leftover chicken from another meal that I want to use in another dish, and this soup makes use of all those extras in the kitchen. The twist in this soup is adding beet leaves. And when I pulled some of my beets out of the garden recently, I knew I wanted to some how create a recipe that used those colorful green and red tops.

Many people buy their beets, cut off the tops, and roast the red jewels in the oven. But don’t dump the leafy tops in the compost.  They contain valuable nutrients and are perfect for this chicken soup. If you don’t have beet tops, you can use rainbow chard or spinach as a substitute. This soup will make enough for dinner and then lunch the next day. With chicken and garbanzo beans this is a protein-packed soup that’s filling despite it not having noodles or dumplings.

Hot In The Kitchen: Chicken Soup with a Leafy Twist

Don't throw away the tops of beets. I use been greens from my garden to add flavor to soups. Photo by Christine Willmsen

Don’t throw away the tops of beets. I use beet greens from my garden to add flavor to soups. Photo by Christine Willmsen


1 chicken breast cut in large chunks or ¼ of chicken that’s leftover

½ onion chopped

2 cans vegetable or chicken stock

1 tomato chopped

1 can garbanzo beans

2 cups beet greens, thickly sliced, without the thick stems

3 tablespoons of minced cilantro

1 teaspoon of both salt and pepper

Optional: slices of avocado, lime slice and hot sauce

Cook chicken and onion in saucepan with stock, salt and pepper on medium low heat until tender or falling off the bones, about 30 minutes.  Then add tomato, garbanzo beans and beet greens to soup and cook on low for another 8-10 minutes. Top the soup with cilantro, sprinkles of sea salt and slices of avocado. If available squeeze a slice of lime on top to give the soup a bright flavor. If you like a little heat, feel free to add a couple drops of hot sauce.

For other great chicken soups recipes see Foodista’s recent story.



Bold nutty flavor of arugula makes a great healthy salad

Arugula is a fantastic, spicy green to grow in the garden. Arugula has a unique nutty, white pepper flavor that packs a punch.

Arugula fresh from my garden is ready for sandwiches, pasta and my new salad recipe. Grow it or pick it up at a farmer’s market.

In fact, I’ve tossed seeds in the garden and been surprised to see it growing like a weed and then turn into a bush. Just be sure to snip off the buds to prevent bolting, but if it flowers don’t be afraid to eat them too. This healthy green-leafed plant from the Mediterranean is part of the Brassicaceae family and is loaded with tons of vitamins. It’s a cool season crop, also known as rocket, that can grow for months in the Pacific Northwest.

I like arugula in sandwiches, wraps, mixed in with other greens to add zip or thrown in pasta. If you aren’t growing it in your garden, pick up a bunch from the farmer’s market or your local grocery store to make this fast, easy recipe that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. This recipe I created is an explosion of flavors in each bite with the spicy arugula, creamy avocado and crunchy cucumber.

Hot in the Kitchen

Arugula Avocado Salad 

2 packed cups of arugula

Arugula with simple ingredients makes a great spicy salad with a tangy dressing.

½ avocado diced

1/2 of tomato diced

¼ of cucumber diced

wedge of lemon

Dressing: combine the following ingredients thoroughly

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

Dash of salt and pepper

Lightly toss arugula, avocado, tomato and cucumber with dressing and squeeze a wedge of lemon juice on top. To add protein to the salad just add diced firm tofu.

Arugula Avocado Salad is a great lunch or dinner for one person.