Warmer weather means we want to get out and explore, enjoying the brighter days and nature’s explosion of beauty. Planning a picnic or day-hike? Take-along Spring Chicken and Vegetable Soup. This delicious soup is easy to make and refreshing to eat!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, boneless and skinless
- 1 large sweet onion, minced
- 6 carrots, cut crosswise into coins
- 1 zucchini, cut into small bite-size chunks
- 1 cup corn (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Zest of one lemon
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 bag fresh spinach, torn
- 6-12 fresh basil leaves
- Lemon slices or wedges, for serving
Add 1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter to a large heavy stock pot over medium-high heat.
Brown chicken on both sides (3-5 minutes) and set aside on a large cutting board.
Add remaining oil and butter and onion, and cook until softened and translucent.
Add carrots and zucchini and corn, if using, and sauté 5 minutes, then stir in garlic, herbs de Provence, salt pepper and lemon zest.
Meanwhile, cut browned chicken into bite-sized pieces (it will likely still be raw inside; this is fine).
Add chicken and broth and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Quickly stir in spinach and 4-6 torn basil leaves, and serve topped with remaining basil and lemon.
*Note: Store this soup in a thermos to keep it warm for a day on the move. You can pack lemon wedges and basil leaves into a zip-top bag and toss them in when you enjoy; don’t forget a napkin and spoon! (This soup can also be made ahead and stored in sealed jars in the refrigerator for up to three days.) You can substitute Italian herb blend for herbs de Provence.