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Cold Snap Chicken Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

May 18, 2014


The past couple of days have brought a rare mid-May cold snap to Atlanta. After the winter of 2014 that just wouldn’t end, I thought we were home free, but walking out of my place to go to dinner last night, I realized I need a coat! In mid-May! Argghhhh. I returned home only to get into a bed made with sheets as cold as ice, and I ended up sleeping in a sweatshirt with a space heater on. I mean, I know I’ve gotten more cold-natured since I lost weight, but this was ridiculous. Did I mention already it’s mid-May?????

Anyhow? Today as I literally chilled in my apartment, I decided it was a soup or stew kinda day. So I went to the kitchen and looked around to see what I could throw together with what I had on hand. I came up with a chicken soup that has just a little sweet potato, onion, and broccoli, with frozen chicken breasts and broccoli and stock from a carton making it easy and convenient, and a touch of sherry giving it an elegant and balanced richness (the sherry is really the secret weapon in this quick and easy, yet ultra-flavorful soup).

I wasn’t expecting it going in, but this Cold Snap Chicken Soup is the best soup I’ve ever made! The flavors were just perfectly balanced, the chicken was exceptionally tender, and it was perfect on a chilly day. I also had a chance to use my brand new red, white, and blue “Fireworkfetti” Temp-tations stoneware that I recently bought from QVC (click here to take a look)! If I was going to eat soup on a cold day in mid-May, I at least wanted it to look, summer-y! I served this with sourdough that I bought from Costco that you then reheat in your own oven for a fresh-baked effect. Yum. I thought I’d share my recipe for the soup with you in case you have a cold snap, or just want a nice bowl of quick and easy chicken soup. You can see it by clicking more. Enjoy!

Cold Snap Chicken Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
By: Chad Slieper

1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small sweet onion
1/2 small sweet potato
1 cup frozen broccoli florets*
2 frozen chicken breasts*
4 cups packaged stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination of the two – I used 3 cups chicken and 1 cup vegetable)
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 sprig fresh rosemary (left whole, to be removed)
Salt and Pepper

*If using fresh chicken breasts, still allow them to steam over the onions and sweet potatoes, just adjust poaching time accordingly. If using fresh broccoli, simply chop and add to soup after putting the shredded chicken back in, and simmer just until the broccoli is vibrant green and tender – but
not overdone.

Cut ends off of onion, and slice in half, removing outer skin. Place halves on a cutting board flat side down and slice into half-moon shaped slices (these larger slices give the soup more texture than a dice or chop).

Peel 1/2 sweet potato with a potato peeler and carefully chop into small, 1/2 inch cubes.

Heat a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium high heat. When hot, add olive oil.

Sauté onions and sweet potato cubes until onions are translucent and beginning to slightly caramelize. The sweet potatoes should also just be showing signs of slight browning.

Spread the vegetables into an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Lay the frozen chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and allow them to steam for 3-4 minutes, just until you can see the breasts beginning to thaw out.

Add the stock and the sherry, salt and pepper to taste, along with the sprig of rosemary, and bring to a slow boil. Boil until the chicken turns white and is just done all the way through, being careful not to overcook as the chicken will become tough. Remove the chicken with tongs and place on a cutting board and allow to cool slightly. Reduce the heat of the soup to a simmer.

In the meantime, place frozen broccoli in a microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup of water and microwave on high 4 minutes. Remove from microwave, carefully drain, and chop into smaller pieces (cutting the florets into thirds or quarters). Set aside.

Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts, being careful as they will still be quite hot. Return the shredded chicken to the stock immediately to keep moist.

Simmer for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and to ensure the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the chopped/steamed broccoli and heat through.

Remove the rosemary sprig from the soup and enjoy!

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