This photo is full of happiness and bright, I can’t help but sharing it. A lot of love for green veggies around here! And in the photo, we have amaranth greens (rau dền)!
February is in, and I have started to change my life considerably. I have cleared out my schedule, organizing my life in a different ways. Be more active and explore options that I haven’t considered before. Most of my days start at 5am with a workout now. It is still a struggle of will to get up so early for working out. I’m not much of a morning person, but it’s a great feeling to start the day active and even enjoy a decent breakfast on workdays.
The first week was hard. I felt like a zombie by Friday, just to realize that my body needed sleep. Earlier bed time did wonder. Listen to the body, it knows what it needs.
My body screams for greens and something soupy after I got a cold earlier this week. This soup comes about after I read about an array of Arabic soups. I am inspired by the spice, the greens and grains. I make mine with amaranth greens , chicken and quinoa. A cinnamon stick is added to the soup, and it gives a surprising hint of warmth to the broth. Wholesome, nourishing and comforting. Cooking chicken this way is wonderful, since the broth is lighter and sweet. The meat is tender and moist.
Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa
Of course other greens will work here – think spinach, kale, and other Asian greens. Substitute quinoa for brown rice if you like.
Ingredients (5 smallish portions)
1 small organic chicken, around 1kilo
1 onion, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
A piece of ginger, about 0.5 cm, skinned and sliced thinly
3 bunches of amaranth greens, leaved picked (you should get around 3-4 cups)
Slices of 1 purple onion
A few tsp of best quality fish sauce
Bring around 6 cups of water to the boil. Add in the onion, cinnamon stick and a ½ tbsp of salt. Lower the chicken to the water, and boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to the lowest heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. This way, the meat will stay moist.
Once the chicken is cooked, take out and let it cool down. Remove and shred the meat. Discard the bones and skin. Skim off the fat from the chicken broth. Discard the onion and cinnamon stock.
Add in enough water so you will have around 4-5 cups. Bring to simmer.
Rinse the quinoa and cook in plenty of water until pale and cooked through. Drain. Set aside.
Clean the amaranth greens and roughly chop to 0.5cm pieces. Add to the boiling broth with the chicken meat. Wait for the broth to boil again plus a few minutes for the greens to cook. Don’t overcook veggies! Check seasoning. I like to add a bit of fish sauce at the end for extra flavours.
Serve the soup hot with sliced onion and quinoa (or rice).