Lemony Garden Vegetable & Chicken Soup

My middle name is Summer, and I'm not just saying that. I've always loved that my middle name is Summer because when I use the saying, it rings true in more ways than one. My first name is fine but Summer... That's something I can identify with. It's a bit off beat, and outdoorsy, and warm. It's full of light and fun to write. Plus, I loooove summer, so it just fits.

About now, you may be wondering why this post, titled Lemony Garden Vegetable and Chicken Soup, is all about summer. I mean, soup and summer aren't usually thought of as a "match". But I have a few reasons to share a soup recipe with you on this bright summery day.

First, one of my friends reminded me that even in summer we can all use a bit of bone broth in our lives. She recently had knee surgery and said that even though it's definitely not soup season, she needs more ways to eat healing foods! Eating this felt so nourishing, I hadn't realized that my body was craving bone broth until I started eating. 

Second, this recipe can be made either in your Instant Pot OR in a stove-top pot. Cooking in your pressure cooker is ideal over the summer, because....

1. It doesn't heat up the kitchen, and you don't have to slave over a hot pot!

2. Its beautiful outside and you can go outside while the Instant Pot does the cooking! 

3. It's fast. This recipe is fastest if you use an Instant Pot, being even in a regular pot it comes together in a flash--the vegetables are best cooked until just tender. 

The third reason why this recipe is perfect for a summery day? Well, you all love your pressure cookers as much as I do. On top of being an awesome midsummer's eve meal, it's easy to make AIP-friendly and perfect for making in big batches (Leftovers anyone? Yes please!). Lately, I've been getting more requests for Instant Pot and AIP-friendly recipes.  

I have all kinds of reasons to share this soup today, but I only have one reason for loving it: it's full of garden flavor and hints of light lemon. And that medly has me won over for the week! 

This recipe was shared at the AIP Round Table by Phoenix Helix!

Lemon Garden Vegetable & Chicken Soup

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |      |    Print Friendly and PDF

Feel free to flex your creative muscle with this recipe. Every garden is different, so every garden vegetable soup should be different, too. The instructions below are for either a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) or simply using a soup pot on the stove.

Serves: 3-5   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs
  • 1 leek
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 pound asparagus
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
  • 6 cups bone broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: pine nuts for garnish (Pine-nuts are not AIP-friendly)

Directions:

  1. Wash the vegetables. Remove the roots and dark green parks from the leek, and slice it it rounds. Mince the garlic. Heat the coconut oil in the bottom of your pot — if you are using an Instant Pot, use the sauté mode; if you are working on the stove, simply heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic to the pot.
  2. When the leeks are soft, add the chicken to the bottom of the pot to brown. Cook on one side for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Flip over, and repeat the process on the other side. Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. While the chicken is cooking, dice the carrots, slice the zucchini and summer squash, dice the tomato, chop the sugar snap peas, and chop the asparagus into thirds (For the asparagus: keel the top of the spears separate from the bottom — the tops tend to cook faster, and can be added later).
  3. Pour about 1 cup of bone broth in the pot, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. And the diced carrots, tomato, zucchini, squash, and snap peas to the pot. Now add just the bottom ends of the asparagus, along with any thicker pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, and add that as well.
  4. Pour in the bone broth and water. Add lemon juice. If you are using an Instant Pot, turn it to the “Soup” setting, put the lid on, and cook for 5 minutes. If you are cooking on your stove, bring the soup to a low boil, put the lid on, and cook for 10-12 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  5. Once the pressure cooker is done, or once the vegetables are tender, add the last of the asparagus and the spinach. Stir them in until they are bright green and soft.
  6. Serve hot, topped with pine nuts or along side a slice of grain-free "Seeduction" Bread.