Chicken Soup with Quinoa

chicken soup quinoa
1 T. (or more) fresh ginger, chopped
1/2 T. olive oil
5 cups chicken stock (see recipe below) or broth
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup fully cooked chicken, shredded (usually leftovers from beer can chicken)
Handful or more of raw spinach, rinsed
1/2 cup frozen peas, rinsed to defrost
Salt to taste

Heat soup pot while chopping ginger. Add oil and when shimmering, add ginger. Stir and cook about 1 minute. Add chicken stock or broth; bring to a boil, add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken, spinach, and peas. Bring to boil and then remove from heat and let cool.

Note: Instead of spinach and/or peas, I’ve used Chinese winter squash or bittermelon.

Chicken Stock
I freeze the carcasses from beer can chicken. When I have 3 or more, I put them in a soup pot and add just enough water to cover the carcasses. If I have celery that is still edible but limp and unattractive, I throw that in the water.

Bring this to a boil, cover and then turn heat down to simmer for three hours. When the stock is ready, let cool then remove and discard the bones and celery.

I put the stock in storage containers in the refrigerator until the fat has congealed on the surface. In the past I’ve skimmed as much fat as I can before using or freezing the stock. But with the soup shown here, I removed about 2/3 of the surface fat, and the soup was tastier and had the nice mouth-feel that only fat can provide.

If I’m not ready to use the stock, I divide it into one-cup portions and place into small plastic bags and freeze.

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