a (healthier) bowl of chicken soup.

This is Part 20 of the “31 Days of Healthy Living” series.

You want to know what I’m loving right now?

Morning light.

There’s just something about it.

If I wake up with the sun falling on my face, the day has already proven itself to be a very, very good day.

This morning, I woke up to 3 inches of freshly fallen snow on the ground.

It was glorious.

My inner 6 year old peeked her head out, and I immediately threw on my down jacket, pulled on my Uggs and set out to claim the ground as mine.

(Although it looks like someone–something?–else may have had the same idea.)

Morning light.

Isn’t it beautiful?

You want to know what else I’m loving?

Making a healthy bowl of chicken soup even healthier…

…slicing big hunks of homemade wheat bread…

…and then enjoying a delicious lunch with Pepere.

When it’s cold and snowy outside, all I want is chicken soup.

This recipe carries the traditional bites of chicken, potato and carrot.  But then some other ingredients come along for the ride.

Like zucchini.

And spinach.

And tomatoes.

Even barley and beans joined in on the fun.

I finished lunch off with a cozy cup of chocolate mint tea.

And then watched “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” in the den with Pepere.

With the morning sun still lingering on…

an ode to a lovely day.


Rustic Chicken Minestrone–modified from an original Martha Stewart Recipe

You could follow this recipe or you could just add plenty of extra veggies to your current favorite chicken soup recipe.  Adding vegetables to favorite dishes is one of the easiest ways to enhance your health on a daily basis.  Throw some steamed broccoli into your mac ‘n’ cheese.  Add some spinach to your omelette.  Keep things fresh, lively and fun!! 😀

Oh, and, as always, this soup will taste even more delicious the following day.  Enjoy!

  • 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, garlic (or regular)
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 bunch kale or spinach
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place cleaned chicken into a large dutch oven or kettle.  Add enough water to completely cover chicken and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer for 40-60 minutes or until chicken is registered at 165.  Remove chicken, strain and reserve liquid.  Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and place meat in a separate bowl for later.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat oil over medium high.  Add onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes with juice and cook until liquid is evaporated, 4 minutes.  Add reserved broth and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes, barley, carrots, and parmesan cheese, cooking for 5 minutes.  Add kale or spinach, zucchini and chickpeas, cooking until zucchini is crisp-tender, 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken and cook until warmed through, 1-2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.  Enjoy!

QUESTION: Are you a morning person or a night person?


14 comments on “a (healthier) bowl of chicken soup.

  1. glutenvygirl says:

    This entire post is a feast for my eyes. Wow! Incredible photographs!

    I’m usually a morning person…once in a while, nighttime will strike me in a way, but it’s usually more of an appreciation. Mornings, I wake up excited and the day always seems full of such promise! So…I’d say I’m a morning person:)

  2. Becky Sue says:

    These photos are so beautiful! That first one is my favorite but the lighting in the others is so great! It really was so pretty today and I was too busy to spend much time taking pictures. I’m sure there will be more snow storms in our future.

    I am definitely a night person. My head is so foggy in the morning even with a cup of coffee.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you, Becky!! 😀

      I think there’s yet another snow expected today. I have this feeling that tomorrow morning will be absolutely stunning. 😀

  3. I love barley in soup. It has such an awesome texture. This soup sounds so good.

  4. Katie says:

    So cozy! I need to make a big batch of soup today and snuggle.

  5. BroccoliHut says:

    What a beautiful bowl of soup!! I love the idea of adding zucchini and spinach to the mix.

  6. Marie says:

    Beautiful photographs! I live in CA so I’ve never seen real snow before. I love the morning light, but I’m an insomniac so it’s hard to catch it most days 😦

  7. I completely agree that mornings are the most beautiful and the sun can really set your mood for the entire day. I seem to be more productive in the evenings, but really, if the sun is out, no matter what time it is, I love it.
    Your photos are beautiful and they made me want follow the little critter that scampered away into the snowy thicket.

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