Classic chicken soup is always delicious, but sometimes I crave the comfort with an extra kick of flavor. Lemon pairs beautifully with it, as I’m sure you well know, but why not change up the typical herbs and spices (thyme, sage, rosemary) with bright and fresh cilantro? Add a bit of tomato and red onion and you’ve got all the texture and aroma of salsa in a hearty soup. My mother-in-law makes a very similar recipe with saffron and, I think, more citrus. Try it out if you want an extra savory version!
Free from: peanuts, nuts, dairy, egg, soy, fish, shellfish
*If you are using a store-bought chicken stock, be sure to read the label as they often contain wheat and soy products. I prefer to make my own chicken stock for this reason.
Ensure you are using a pure durum wheat semolina pasta and again, read the label prior to use.
Alternatives: To accommodate for gluten intolerance, use a gluten-free pasta such as Barilla Gluten-Free, and a chicken stock that does not contain “modified food starch” or other wheat ingredients.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced cooking onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely diced
2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
2 chicken breasts
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup loose cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnishing
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. finely diced red onion for garnish
1/3 cup small pastina, such as acini de pepe
Heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a large pot or Le Creuset pot on medium heat. Sweat the onion until it is translucent and softened, and the garlic is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper as they cook. The garlic should not burn. If it does, the heat is too high. Add the citrus juice, chicken breasts (whole), stock, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, put the lid on and let reduce on medium-low for at least an hour. It should have reduced by about a third. Pull the chicken breasts out and shred them using two forks. Return the meat to the pot, and bring back to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for time indicated on package. Roughly rip up the cilantro leaves and add to the soup. Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve nice and hot, and garnish with the red onion and some extra cilantro and lemon or lime wedges.