My poor mother has been sick with pneumonia for well over a month now. She called me last week on Wednesday informing me that she might not be able to make it to super sister weekend if she was still under the weather. We were all super disappointed and worried that she might have to go to the hospital. Today, she sent us all a little text that she had been to the doctor and is finally on the mend! I hope she stays well as she has really been through it this winter. It is so hard when your family is away and you can't be there to help out. While I love living here in Kansas City, it is difficult to be away from family and friends. Especially when someone is not feeling well.
They say chicken soup really has no major medicinal purposes. When I saw this soup at Whole Foods, I began to think the contrary. With lemon, veggies, and herbs, I cannot see why this chicken soup version would be anything but medicinal if you were feeling under the weather. I gave my version an even healthier dose by switching out spinach for kale.
I froze some leftovers to send with my mother in hopes that she remains well and can make it this coming weekend for our birthday extravaganza. You know, just to keep her healthy and let her know how much I love her:). Whether you are feeling a cold coming on or just need a little reminder that spring is just around the corner, the lemon and artichokes give this traditional chicken soup a little pick-me-up. It is the perfect soul satisfying soup on a chilly winter night.
Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup
inspired by Whole Foods
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 clove minced garlic
Juice of one lemon
2 cups kale, finely chopped
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
4 cups reduced sodium, gluten-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon gluten-free chicken base (I used Better Than Bouillon)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch
Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of a large non-stick skillet. Heat to medium-high. While the skillet is heating, season both sides of the chicken breast with the salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Place in the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Using tongs, turn the chicken and cook the other side of the chicken breasts for another 5 minutes or until browned. It is okay if they are not cooked all the way through. They will finish cooking in the soup. Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and set on a plate. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally to pick up any brown bits for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the lemon juice. Stir to pick up any more browned bits and remove from heat.
Place the chicken, vegetables, kale, artichoke hearts, herbes de Provence, and chicken broth into a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and set on low. Cook for 5-6 hours. Uncover, shred the chicken using two forks. In a small dish, whisk together the chicken base, water, and corn starch until smooth and combine. Add to the soup mixture. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the soup begins to slightly thicken and serve.