Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa

Love my greens

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. 

Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa

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)
100-120g quinoa
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).

Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa

51 Responses to Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa

  1. Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul says:

    You should be commended for your early workouts! 5 am? Wow! I'm totally obsessed with different chicken soup recipes and this one looks magnificent. The ginger and cinnamon sound like a great marriage!

  2. Pam says:

    I'm proud of you! I can't exercise at 5am. I have to wait for after work.

  3. Shulie says:

    So inspiring Anh. Feeling a tad in a slump lately. I don't think I could do 5am but 7am can be agood start. I have also been craving soup recently and these Amarnth greens look fantastic. Never seen them before!!

  4. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    I feel ehalthier just reading this post :) looks delicious!

  5. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Anh, hope you are feeling better. Listen to the body is a good key. I often feel that I need extra rest (and I'm getting old!). This is such a beautiful soup. I also need lots of greens in my life. Love your photos!

  6. Hannah says:

    What a perfect restorative creation! I've never seen amaranth greens before, sadly.

  7. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    A wonderful dish! Healthy and surely delicious. I'd love to taste amaranth greens.

  8. Maureen says:

    this looks like good health, bowl sized! It's so beautifully photographed too.

  9. lacaffettierarosa says:

    I cound never wake up so early, my body would just give up! But I am exercising more (after work) and it's doing wonders. The addition of cinnamon to a broth is a great idea, I'll copy it for sure.

  10. Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy says:

    What a beautiful dish and so restorative! Good on your for your new healthy lifestyle- you have indeed inspired me :)

  11. Martyna@WholesomeCook says:

    Hi Anh, well done on making the change, inspiring and you'll feel so

  12. leaf (the indolent cook) says:

    Gorgeous photos – soup looks healthy and delicious! Hope your life re-scheduling works out for you. :)

  13. La Table De Nana says:

    5 AM:) Good for you..This dish looks healthy an appetizing and I love your model.

  14. Angie's Recipes says:

    Miss amaranth…this looks healthy and tasty. Love your soup bowls too.

  15. Cocoa and Lavender says:

    This looks so comforting, in addition to healthy! We only discovered amaranth greens when we moved here to the desert and now find it growing wild! Thanks for a beautiful post! ~ David

  16. Katia says:

    It's such a comforting dish… and of course, beautiful pictures! : )

  17. Zara says:

    I've never seen amaranth greens either… The soup sounds wholesome and delicious! And a beautiful styling, too.

  18. Eri says:

    Your photographs are amazing!

  19. Jane says:

    I've never heard of amaranth greens! Looks good! I've tried exercising in the morning, and it just doesn't work for me .. :(

  20. Johanna GGG says:

    5am exercises and virtuous soups – I wish I could do so well but I am no morning person and would need a lot of effort to get up so early

  21. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    I just love your photos Anh..

  22. Ambika says:

    Hey Anh, I LOVE amaranth greens, I miss them so much in the states. The photos in this post are gorgeous!

  23. sliceofmylyfe says:

    Looks hearty and healthy. New year has me changing my schedule too. Eating healthy and exercising has been a priority. God willing, it should carry through the year. Beautiful pics..I love the sunshine

  24. chinmayie @ love food eat says:

    That looks so soothing and warming. Winter is over here in India and I have moved to summer fruits and salads from soups but something with so much greens can be enjoyed any time of them year as it's lite and refreshing.

  25. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    I've never seen amaranth greens before! I will have to see if I can find them here.

  26. parenting articles says:

    very nice shots!

  27. Jennifer (Delicieux) says:

    5am workouts, wow, that's impressive!!! Good on you!

  28. MyFudoTM says:

    I run at 6 but I cannot be up at 5…You are awesome! The discipline is evident. This looks like a really hearty dish. Keep posting!

  29. yummy supper says:

    Ahn, your soup looks beautiful. I love your photos and the flavors are so wholesome and delicious. I had amaranth greens when I was in Bali and want to try to grow my own in California.

  30. Yasmeen says:

    Wow, 5am! You are impressive. As are your photos – they are transformative. I just feel so inspired every time I come here and read about the latest news from your kitchen.

  31. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says:

    So proud of your wake up time, Anh! I can never do that. I'll try again :)

  32. ChichaJo says:

    This sounds like just the thing when you need something flavorful yet wholesome…comforting indeed! The photos are stunning as usual!

  33. shaz says:

    Beautiful photos Anh! Well done on your early morning rises, very amazing. I have been trying to get more sleep too, which is great for the body but not so great for the blog :)

  34. Amy says:

    Your soup looks so flavorful and healthy – full of great vitamins! I bet it is very delicious and perfect for a cool day.

  35. Koci says:

    That soup looks so beautiful! It sounds so yummy and so good for you. Congratulations on all the healthy living, too!

  36. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Gorgeous photos and a delicious sounding recipe, yes, we all need more greens, especially during these dreary months! Thanks!

  37. WokandSpoon says:

    I like early mornings (wake up at 5:30am to get to work on time) but don't think I could motivate myself to work out at that time! I'm very impressed!

  38. Deeps @ Naughty Curry says:

    lovelt pics, the first one is so natural & heartening… im always up for soup, esp if packed with my week's load of vitamins. :)

  39. John says:

    This blog is great source of information about Saint Patrick´s Day which is very useful for me. It very important information about Saint Patrick´s Day

  40. Jo says:

    Looks and sounds yummy! I do think eating healthy, more greens, veggies, fruits and grains is the way to go. We tend to stuff our bodies with too much meat which is really not good at all.

  41. kankana says:

    I saw these greens before but never really cooked with it! It really looks so healthy and the first photo is gorgeous.

  42. nancy at good food matters says:

    stunning photographs! so filled with light and life!

  43. mycookinghut says:

    Looks good and I love it!

  44. Jehanne says:

    i'm all for chicken soups and your recipe is a sure keep!

  45. Angela Huynh says:

    This looks like a relatively easy yet flavourful recipe. Thank you for sharing with us ;)

  46. A Brown Table says:

    Your photographs are always amazing, but the soup sounds delicious and yet so simple!

  47. Soma says:

    I have never had amaranth greens any other way but stir fried or in a dry curry. I need to grow then again this year! the photograph just makes me happy and it feels like it got the entire sunshine in! So gorgeous!! and a happy healthy combo of the green, chicken and the quinoa.

  48. Janine says:

    I'm also trying to change my lifestyle, and waking up at 6am with a workout is already killing me! I'm still working towards the eating more greens – your post inspires! :)

  49. Ola says:

    I also feel like eating a lot of 'green' food at early spring – I know that where I live I should wait for really fresh and non -chemical vegetables some time more…

  50. […] 9. Poached Chicken Soup with Amaranth Greens and Quinoa How’s that for a new ingredient? Amaranth is a teeny tiny grain (much like quinoa) that also comes in the form of super-healthy greens. Add a bushel to broth with chicken and quinoa for a super chic version of classic chicken and veg, or swap in other greens like collards or bok choy instead. […]

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