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Summer Sunshine in Your Spoon

Thursday, July 20, 2017

“Summer light is different. Somehow, it’s yellower, brighter and seemingly more deliberate. It takes on an almost 'tangy' quality—a lemony and piquant 'high note,'" so said Ingrid Beer, the delightfully creative writer of a favorite food blog called The Cozy Apron.

“Lemons are bold and colorful," ​she went on to say. "They are alive and wonderful for bringing out the best qualities in other foods, and they do it seamlessly. Their flavor often ties everything in your refrigerator into a palette-pleasing and awakening experience—something often craved this time of year.”

Today's lemony soup is a perfect way to use your herb garden basil and rosemary, the leftover ​meat from the roast chicken you bought at the supermarket on Friday to keep in the refrigerator over the weekend in case extra guests stop by, and any of the vegetables that you might have overbought at Saturday’s farmer’s market.

I made and froze lemony chicken bone broth on Sunday evening, which I used as the base for today's Tasty Tuesday summer soup.  

After picking off the remaining chicken, I put the cleaned carcass in a soup pot with about six cups of water and one cup of white wine, one medium chopped yellow onion, minced garlic cloves to taste, two whole lemons cut in half, herbs de Provence, a sprig of fresh rosemary from my garden, and salt and pepper to taste, before letting it gently simmer for an hour or so to release the nutrient-dense gelatin, calcium, sulphur, magnesium, phosphorus, and trace minerals in the carcass bones. 

I added a little more water when necessary, to maintain volume without diluting flavor. 

Before freezing, I divided the picked chicken and one of the cooked half lemons in each of the quart jars before adding the bone broth just to the glass jar neck to allow for freezer expansion.

Sunshine in Your Spoon Soup Ingredients (four servings)

4 cups homemade broth, with shredded chicken

1 cup shelled fresh English peas

1 cup baby zucchini cubed

Small red and yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half

½ ​packed cup of fresh basil from the garden

2 cups room-temperature cooked quinoa

​lemon zest to taste

​lemon juice to taste

​lemon wedges for garnish ​


Bring the frozen or refrigerated broth with chicken bits to a gentle simmer for a few minutes, turn heat off and add the fresh English peas, the diced baby zucchini, the cherry tomatoes, lemon zest and juice. Stir to combine and allow the peas and zucchini to become crisp-tender and bright green in the hot broth stock (3 to 4 minutes).

To serve, add about 1/2 cup of the cooked quinoa to a pretty bowl and ladle some of the soup with the chicken and summer veggies over the top, sprinkle in the gently torn fresh basil and squeeze in additional lemon juice from the lemon wedge garnish, if desired.


Nutritional information

Basil, also known as Saint Joseph’s Wort, belongs to the mint family. It's often used as a seasoning in cooking. A ​Purdue University study suggests that basil contains a wide range of essential oils, rich in ​a wide array of natural polyphenols including flavonoids and anthocyanins. Many people use basil to reduce swelling and inflammation associated with arthritis.

This soup is protein rich since it includes bone broth, chicken, and quinoa, the grain with a stunning amount of the amino acids that form a complete protein.

Eat well and enjoy. 

Ellen Troyer with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff

In the name of conservation of resources, I now freeze most everything in reusable glass containers, always being careful to allow for content expansion. So far, I have not had any jars break in the freezer. The chicken broth in the photo at the top is still partially frozen.