Friday, May 4, 2012

Lemon Chicken Soup with Salad

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? – April 25, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Salad recipe originally published by Food Network Magazine – April 2012.

I really love a soup/salad or soup/sandwich combo, but my husband does not.  No matter what kind of soup I make, he never eats it.  Still I’m searching for a soup that he’s going to, at a minimum, eat a bowl.  I happen to love chicken and rice soup so when I saw this combination “lightened up” version of the soup with a refreshing salad, I decided to make it.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Lemon Chicken Soup and Salad
The soup was nice and creamy without being heavy.  In fact, there’s no cream or milk in it!  I’m terrible at the meat-to-soup ratio.  I always end up with more broth.  Still, it looks comforting and delicious.

© Food Network Magazine
Our soups definitely have the same creamy consistency, but I’m guessing I should have scooped a little more vegetables and chicken than broth.  Then again, those chunks of "baby carrot" are a lot bigger than the average carrot.  Looks like they used regular sized carrots and accidentally used "baby" by mistake.

I’m a little curious to their salad selection.  The recipe called for salad greens and they clearly used romaine.  I’m not sure why they didn’t specify romaine.  Finally, their soup and salad got a nice dusting of freshly ground black pepper.  Nice touch, but not included in the recipe.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – This recipe could almost be the definition of EH.  There’s some prep work, but nothing that can’t be contained to minimal mess.  Not a tremendous amount of equipment and the majority of the cooking is done in a single pot.  Yes, there is potential for mess with moving broth to-and-from the pot, but a steady hand will minimize your spillage and what spillage there is can be cleaned up easily.

Start-to-Finish Time: ABOUT AN HOUR – About half of the time is hands-on (getting to boil and simmer), so it gives you a chance to do a little cleaning up or whatever else you want to do.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – There is quite a bit of chopping, but none of it is precise chopping, just big chunks.  It could be bumped up to a LOSS OF FINGER POSSIBLE because it’s a little hard to chop small vegetables that are crisp.  I swear they were jumping around while I was trying to cut them.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – This one isn’t as hard as it could be since you’re not making your own broth.  You start with a broth and water base and add the vegetables and chicken.  Definitely a great introduction to making homemade soup.

OverallNOT BAD – I had to add salt and pepper to give this the flavor that I was looking for.  I made it for lunch and it worked perfectly for that.  I probably wouldn’t serve this for dinner though unless it was part of a soup course.  My husband didn’t even try it.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Spark Recipes.  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

If you divided this soup up into 4 servings, you would have roughly a cup and a half of broth alone.  So it is a pretty healthy sized serving with the salad.  I didn’t eat near that much though, so I probably got 5-6 servings out of the recipe.

I have found that for a soup – or anything that needs to come to a boil, really – you are looking at a minimum of an hour.  Saying it will take only 30 minutes is being really generous.  Here’s how my timing worked out:
  • Prep: 26 minutes
  • Hands-on Time: 9 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
For a full meal, including a salad, this isn’t that bad.  As I said before, for a soup, you should plan for at least an hour.

Nutritional Information:
  • Calories 552
  • Fat 29 g (Saturated 7 g)
  • Cholesterol 246 mg
  • Sodium 871 mg
  • Carbohydrate 35 g
  • Fiber 5 g
  • Protein 40 g
I was a little shocked at the calories and fat in this dish.  It’s a soup and salad for crying out loud… and not even a cream based soup.  I’m looking at the ingredient listing trying to figure out where all the fat is coming from.  I’m guessing that they didn’t use a fat-free broth, which could account for some things.  The carbs were a little shocking too and then I remembered this recipe has rice in it.

I decided to check their numbers against my nutritional database:
  • Calories 309.4
  • Total Fat 17.1 g
  • Saturated Fat 2.8 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 2.0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 11.2 g
  • Cholesterol 126.7 mg
  • Sodium 823.7 mg
  • Potassium 757.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 16.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
  • Sugars 4.2 g
  • Protein 23.2 g
The numbers are significantly different.  Not only are the calories different, but the fat went down and most appears to be monounsaturated, which is one of the healthy fats.

The nutritional database I use is maintained by another company, so when I make a recipe, I record all of the nutritional data as listed on the package, enter it into the nutritional database and recalculate.  This takes into consideration specific brands and any changes I make.  In this recipe, I used a chicken broth that is both fat-free and reduced sodium.  After I plugged in my changes, I got the following nutritional information:
  • Calories 309.5
  • Total Fat 21.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.1 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 11.0 g
  • Cholesterol 130.0 mg
  • Sodium 578.8 mg
  • Potassium 183.8 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 22.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
  • Sugars 8.5 g
  • Protein 19.5 g
Relatively similar but lower in sodium, which is a definite plus.  The cholesterol, fat and carbohydrates are slightly higher, but nothing to be terribly concerned about.

This recipe is also chock full of:
  • Vitamin A (over 200% of the recommended RDA) – this vitamin is vital to vision and cellular growth
  • Vitamin C (over 100% of the recommended RDA) – an antioxidant that is needed by the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels, and which aids in the absorption of iron.
Changes denoted by red text

© You Want Me to Cook?
Lemon Chicken Soup and Salad - ingredients
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

5 scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)

4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth

3 cups water

1/2 cup instant white rice

1 bunch baby carrots (about 4 ounces), cut into chunks
1 bunch baby turnips (about 4 ounces), quartered lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper plus more to taste
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
8 cups salad greens
Fit Wash

Ingredient Notes:
Organic Chicken Broth – You can use homemade chicken broth or regular chicken broth.  I opt for organic because it usually has less fat and sodium than even the fat-free and reduced sodium versions.

Water – I’m a stickler for listing out all the ingredients you need even if it is something that comes from the tap.  It’s easy to miss a detail in the recipe when you’ve got something on the stove and a million other things going.  This takes that out of the equation.

Instant White Rice – The recipe doesn’t specify the type of rice, but I had instant on hand.  It worked nicely, so I’d go with that.

Baby Turnips – I’m not sure what the recipe writers mean by “baby” turnips.  I couldn’t find anything about it on my regular food source websites.  I looked for a turnip labeled “baby” in the grocery store and couldn’t find one, so I purchased regular sized turnips (as small as I could find them) and cut in thirds before quartering.

Lemon Juice – I got the 4 tablespoons out of 1-1/2 lemons.  Make sure you get medium sized or bigger.

Rotisserie Chicken – I got the 2 cups from approximately one breast.

Fit Wash – Although you can use water and scrub the vegetables thoroughly, I like using this citrus based wash to really get the waxy substance off the vegetables.  I used it on the scallions, baby carrots, turnips, lemons, parsley and salad greens.

Equipment Needed:

© You Want Me to Cook?
Lemon Chicken Soup and Salad
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Vegetable Peeler
Vegetable Brush
(2) Forks
(3) Large Spoons
Large Pot
Medium Bowl
Large Bowl

Equipment Notes:
Vegetable Peeler – I had to do a little research on how to prepare and cook turnips.  Most resources said they are best peeled, so even though the directions don’t specify to peel them, I did.  They tasted great too.

Vegetable Brush – For thicker rind fruits and vegetables, I like to use a vegetable brush to really get all crevices clean.

Forks – I use the forks to shred the chicken, but use whatever method works best for you.

Large Spoons – One of the large spoons is to use while cooking the vegetables and then the soup.  I use the other two for tossing the salad.

(1)   Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

(2)  Make soup:
(a)  Add the scallion whites and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.
My scallions were done in around 90 seconds.  In fact, you can tell from the picture that they were starting to get a little too crispy
(b)  Add the chicken broth, water, the rice, carrots, turnips and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
(c)  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the rice and vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
My broth/soup took about 9 minutes to get to a boil and my vegetables were plenty tender after 12 minutes.
(d)  Whisk the eggs and 3 tablespoons lemon juice in a medium bowl.
(e)  Slowly ladle about 1 1/2 cups of the hot broth into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
You want to whisk… not stir.  Stirring gives the effect of egg drop soup where you can see strings of egg white & yolk.  You want the egg mixture to blend.
(f)  Add the shredded chicken to the pot, then whisk in the egg-broth mixture.
(g)  Return the soup to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat.
Same goes here as for Step (e).
(h)  Stir in the scallion greens and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
(3)  Make salad:
(a)  Put the salad greens in a large bowl and toss with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
(b)  Season with salt and pepper.
(4)  Serve the soup with the salad.

On a day like today – crisp, windy and cool – this is the perfect lunch or dinner.  The salad is very basic, but there are a lot of ways to jazz it up.

If I were going to change anything:
  • I’d add a dusting of freshly ground pepper on top of the finished salad and soup.
  • I may dress up the salad a little.  Maybe add some fresh herbs to it?  There is also the option to add onions, red bell pepper, cucumbers, mushrooms… any vegetable will perk it right up and fit with the light olive-oil and lemon juice dressing.
That’s all there is to talk about this soup and salad combo.  Until next time… Happy cooking!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment