Chicken and Spelt Soup with Greens

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This is one of my all-time favorite chicken soup recipes-it’s packed with so many nutritious greens as well as wholesome spelt, with a touch of zesty lemon. It never fails to make you feel great from the inside out.

Ingredients

1 (3 1/4-pound) chicken, rinsed and drained

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 yellow onion, skin on, quartered

1 leek, chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

1 head garlic, halved crosswise

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 liters water

1 cup spelt

2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped, extra

10 1/2 ounces broccolini, florets trimmed and stalk chopped

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

3 1/2 ounces green beans, trimmed and chopped

1 3/4 ounces baby kale leaves (about 3/4 cup)

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Baby lemon balm leaves, to serve

Instructions

Place the chicken, carrot, celery, onion, leek, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns and water in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Strain the soup, reserving the stock and the whole chicken. Return the stock to a clean pot over high heat, add the spelt and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones.

Add the extra celery, broccolini, salt and pepper to the pot and cook for 4 minutes. Add the green beans and shredded chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the kale leaves and lemon zest. Divide the soup among bowls, top with the lemon balm and sprinkle with cracked black pepper to serve.

Notes

Spelt is an ancient wheat grain that is high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It’s also low in gluten, so it¿s easier to digest than other grains. You can find it in health food stores and supermarkets.

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