Busy, busy, busy. That’s my life now! It is haaaaaard to find the time to cook, but this soup I mostly made while my little guy watched me from his bouncer chair! It’s pretty quick, very healthy, and I was able to love on my family while I made it. Win, win, win!
Creamy Zucchini Basil Soup with Spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil or bacon drippings
**1 clove garlic, finely chopped
**1 large or 2 medium leeks OR 2 bunches green onions
~if using leeks, trim the green parts and save for another use. Chop the white parts to use for the soup. If using green onions, chop both bunches, discarding the white parts if you have a really sensitive tummy.
1-pound organic zucchini, roughly chopped, ends discarded
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
**4 cups gluten free chicken broth (I like the Trader Joe’s brand!)
4 tablespoons fresh basil (or a handful)
2-3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1-2 cups cooked chicken
**if you have IBS, IBD, or a very sensitive stomach due to other digestive issues, leave out the garlic. If you are able to tolerate it well, go ahead and leave it in!
**Leeks are worse offenders to those with IBS than the much milder green onion, especially if you only use the green parts of the green onion. If you are very sensitive, leave the leeks out and try the green onion. If you find your soup lacking a little something, add in some cajene pepper or red pepper flakes. This always does the trick!
**most store-bought stocks and broths are made with garlic and onions. If you are very sensitive to one or both of these, you may want to use your own homemade stock. For this, I essentially throw in as many bones as I have of organic chicken (or beef if you want beef broth), cover with water + a few inches, and add in any veggies that I like—carrots, celery, turnip, etc. Throw it all in your crockpot and cook for 20-30 hours. Add in salt and pepper to taste and fresh herbs about an hour before it’s done. Strain and use within a few days in the fridge or a few weeks in the freezer.)
For your chicken: you can use leftovers, buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, or cook 2 organic chicken breasts however you choose. I find that, for this type of use, it is really easy to boil them! To do this, fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a good amount of salt (6-7 cracks of sea salt), and add your chicken breasts. I boil mine for 30 minutes! You could try to cook them for a shorter period of time and check them, but 30 minutes always works for me. I let the chicken rest for a few minutes and the pull the meat apart with 2 forks. So easy!
For the soup: in a large soup pot, heat your olive oil over medium-high heat and add your garlic, if using. Then add the white parts of your chopped leeks (or your green onions—leave the white parts out if you’re extra sensitive) and chopped zucchini. Stir in your salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the leeks or onions have softened. Add 2 cups of your broth and cover, stirring occasionally, until your zucchini is tender—about 8-10 minutes.
Transfer the soup to your blender or food processor, I use a vitamix, and carefully blend until your desired consistency. Feel free to blend in batches so as not to cram your blender too full!
Pour the soup back into your pot, and add the remaining 2 cups chicken broth, chopped spinach, and cooked chicken. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, and cook for 4-5 minutes or until heated through!
Top with chopped green onions, chives, more basil, or some more chopped spinach!