As fall slips into winter, bringing shorter days and longer nights, all I can think about is simmering a warm pot of soup made with this season's star ingredient - carrots! My rainbow carrot chicken soup makes use of these gorgeous, colorful root vegetables grown locally right here in Kern County by Grimmway Farms. Accompanied by flavors of lemon, shallots, and fresh dill, this dish brings notes of bright flavor and feels like you're eating a kicked up version of your family's homemade chicken noddle soup. Get the recipe below:
2 pounds of boneless skinless whole chicken breasts (if using thinly sliced, they'll just take less time to cook!)
5 cups of rainbow carrots, peeled and sliced on a diagonal (if you can't find rainbow carrots, regular ones will work great!)
3 diced shallots
1 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
the zest and juice of one whole lemon (make sure it's a juicy one!)
6 cups chicken stock
4 cups of shredded kale, stems removed
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (about 3 teaspoons each)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Heat a large dutch oven (or whatever pot you're using to make this soup) on the stove with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.
Season your chicken breasts thoroughly with salt and pepper on each side, about a teaspoon of each. Remember, chicken needs salt!
Sear the breasts in your pan on each side for about 6 - 8 minutes and remove. Set them aside and let rest. I recommend under cooking your chicken just a little bit, because it will continue to cook once placed back in the soup.
Look down at your beautiful pot filled with delicious chicken drippings! This is going to impart SO much flavor in your veggies!
Add in another 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the shallots, carrots, and celery and sauté on medium heat until they're starting to become tender and soft. (About 5 minutes or so!)
Then, add in your garlic, and sauté for another minute. I always add my garlic last so it doesn't burn. Make sure you're scraping up all of the yummy bits from the bottom of your pan along the way!
Finally, add in your lemon juice and zest to help deglaze any drippings that are left on the bottom of the pan, plus another teaspoon of salt and pepper.
Add in 6 cups of chicken stock, the parsley, the dill, and the kale, and bring your soup to a boil. Be sure to turn your heat on high!
While this is happening, cube your chicken breasts in small pieces and prepare to add them to the pot. Again, if they're a little underdone, that's okay! They will continue to cook in the liquid and this will prevent them from drying out!)
Once the soup has come to a boil, turn the heat to low, add your cubed chicken and red pepper flakes, and simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes!
Then, prepare to enjoy! Yes, it's really that easy!
WOW carrots are a powerhouse. Not to mention, this soup in general is BURSTING with immune boosting qualities. This is the perfect thing to eat this time of year! Carrots heal your skin, they balance oil production, are filled with vitamins - such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium - and are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. Kale also is rich in antioxidants and calcium, and the chicken used in this dish is lean and chock full of protein. The lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs are also immunity boosting and help soothe the tummy! This dish is Whole30 approved, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Let me know how this turns out in your kitchen!