Guys we have soup in the summer!
Like we discussed, my honeymoon consisted of caring for a sick husband, who's currently still a little stuffy. Poor kid. I made him soup, but I didn't want anything too heavy since it's AUGUST, so we went with this:
Greek-style lemon chicken soup with feta, fresh spinach, and pasta.
WHOA was it good. Super lemony without being tangy, and you make your own stock AS you poach the chicken. Two steps in one!
First, start the chicken. You can use thawed chicken or frozen - it totally doesn't matter.
Add the chicken to a large pot, and cover it with water - use at least 4 cups. If you like stronger soup, you can use a combination of chicken stock and water - totes up to you.
Cover the pot, and bring the chicken to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low to simmer until it's JUST cooked through, or still a little pink. If your chicken is frozen, this will take 20 - 30 minutes. If you're cooking the chicken from a thawed state, check it after 10 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked, drain the stock/cooking liquid and set the chicken aside to cool.
Once the chicken has cooled, shred it with forks into chunks - large or small, your call. While the chicken is cooking and cooling and all that jazz, grab your other ingredients! In addition to the stock and chicken we've already worked on, you'll need 2 lemons, feta cheese, short-cut pasta, fresh spinach, dried oregano, onion, garlic, and heavy cream.
Now, as a timeline, you have some options: You COULD cook the chicken, veggies, and pasta separately. I cooked the pasta separately, but did the chicken followed by the soup in the same pot to save a dish. You can do three pots to save time, though! Cook the pasta separately so that it doesn't overcook in the soup, then drain it while you make the rest of the soup.
To the chicken pot or a new pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat the pot to medium while you cut the onion and garlic.
We're using half an onion. You know how to do this, yes? I finely dice it by making thin slices...
...then turning the onion and cutting the slices into strips....
...then cutting the strips into a dice! Cut the onion however you like, though. You're an adult.
Then mince the garlic! One large or two small cloves is perfect here.
Now, add the onion, a sprinkle of salt, and the zest of one of the lemons to the pot. Adjust the heat as needed; the pan should sizzle but the onion and zest shouldn't burn or brown right away.
If you like things spicy, add a tiny bit of crushed red pepper at this step - it's lovely!
When the onions are soft, after 4 minutes or so, add the garlic and oregano and cook for one more minute.
Then, add the stock back to the pot!
Squeeze in half the zested lemon to the soup. Let the mixture come up to a gentle simmer to heat everything back through.
While the soup is heating, cut the second lemon into wedges for serving.
Then, add the chicken back to the pot. Stir, and taste the soup. If you need more liquid, add some more stock or water, and if you'd like a stronger lemony flavor, add the juice of the second half of the zested lemon to the pot.
NOW, we have raw spinach, feta, cooked pasta, and heavy cream still waiting for us. Drizzle in the cream. Just a bit!
To serve, you can add the pasta, spinach, and feta to the pan right before you serve and call it a day.
BUT, if you have leftovers the spinach and pasta will overcook when you reheat the soup, so you could leave the soup base plain....
...then I like to assemble individual bowls by adding some pasta and fresh spinach to a bowl...
...and pouring the soup right on top!
Top the soup with some crumbled feta and a lemon wedge, and LOOK. AT. THAT.
The light flavor of the soup with the sharp feta and just sliiiiightly wilted spinach is really lovely.
Don't worry about soup in the summer, either, I bet you're like me and whine about the AC all the time but then want it cold when you sleep so you're in a constant state of turmoil.
No? Fine. I like this with Saltines, because they make me think of my dad, but this would be lovely with expensive crusty bread, too!
Also. Don't fear the spinach. Once you serve this you'll likely have a moment of panic in which you are sure it DEFINITELY WON'T WILT and then just when you start to cry it WILL wilt, and you'll realize how great freshly wilted spinach is in soup.
Enjoy this, guys! It's a new fav of ours.
Shared with my girls at Weekend Potluck!Print
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed or frozen
- 4 - 6 cups water or water/stock combo
- 1 cup dry short-cut pasta such as macaroni, cooked to package directions and reserved
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 whole lemons (1 zested and juiced, one cut into wedges)
- crushed red pepper, to taste, optional
- salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2-4 cups fresh spinach
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- crackers or bread, your choice, for serving
- Add the chicken to a large pot with the water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until cooked - 20 minutes or so for frozen chicken, 10 minutes or so for thawed. Remove the chicken to a plate when cooked, and shred when cooled. Reserve the stock in a separate bowl.
- To the same pot, add a drizzle of olive oil, the onion, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt over medium heat. Stir for 3 - 5 minutes until onion is translucent and soft but not browned.
- Add the oregano and garlic, and stir for one minute more. Then, add stock back into the pot with juice of half the zested lemon. Return the stock mixture to a gentle bubble, then add the chicken. Taste, and add more lemon juice or salt to your taste.
- Drizzle in the heavy cream and stir to combine.
- To serve, layer a bowl with some of the pasta, then a small handful of fresh spinach. Top with soup, the hot soup will wilt the spinach. Top with a lemon wedge and feta crumbles. Enjoy!
- Pasta and chicken could be cooked the day before and stored separately, then just build the soup and heat everything through right before serving!
- Store and serve pasta separately to prevent bloating in leftovers.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 45
- Serving Size: 4
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