Lemon Chicken Spinach Millet Soup

I have been going through purgatory for the last 2 months at work. And I'm loving every single second of it.

The frenzy of work, the presentations shaping up from just an idea, computers failing after not being switched off for a month, returning home every single day, without fail, at any time between 2am and 4 am, then getting back by 9am, client meetings, reworking and the cycle repeats itself. It's fun, exhilarating and couldn't love it more (though it is taking a LOT out of me).

What I'm not liking, is the everyday dinner, mall food at the oddest hours. It's a roll, a wrap or a Subway every day. What I wouldn't give for home food, healthy and hot and at the right time. Which is what I did last night. By the grace of the Spaghetti Monster, I actually got free early, and decided to make use of extra time by cooking up a light soup, that's healing and homely.

And boy what a soup did I end up with! It took a total of 20 minutes, start to stop, it was light, herby brothy yet buttery, and wholesome and filling. Tender cubes of pan-fried chicken, shreds of spinach, flavoured with thyme, coriander and mint, with a nutty burst of millets in every spoonful. It's super customizable, gluten-free and if you swap out the chicken for tofu, and butter for olive oil, it's also vegan. Presenting my 20 Minute, One Pot Lemon Chicken Soup with Spinach and Millets.

20 Minute, One Pot Lemon Chicken Soup with Spinach and Millets

You need:
  • 3 chicken thighs, chopped into 4-5 pieces (if going veg, then swap out for paneer or tofu or boiled soy nuggets)
  • Juice of 2-3 lemons
  • Lemon zest, if you have it
  • 2 cups of spinach, washed and chopped roughly
  • 3/4 cup of barnyard millets, washed. You can easily swap this for pasta, or brown rice.
  • a knob of ginger, peeled and smashed
  • Thyme, fresh or dried
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 750 ml water
  • Butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic, powder or 4-5 cloves, smashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few drops of chilli oil if you have it (I didn't, I left it out)
  • A splash of white wine (I didn't, I left it out)
  • If you have a green chilli, then chop it up.
  • a bunch of coriander and mint leaves, chopped roughly

The How:
  • Marinate the chicken in about half the lemon juice, half the garlic, half the ginger, salt, pepper, chilli oil and half the chopped herbs in a non-metallic bowl for about 30 min.
  • Take a deep soup pot and add a knob of butter. Let it melt but not burn.
  • Add the chicken pieces and fry till 90% done.
  • Take it out on a plate, and chop into smaller pieces or shred it.
  • In the same pan, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Fry till soft.
  • At this point, deglaze the pan with white wine, or a splash of water.
  • Add the spinach and let it wilt. Add the thyme.
  • Add the chicken and millets and stir to combine.
  • Now add most of  the water, toss in the bayleaf, cover and let it boil up. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • At the end of 5 minutes, the millets would have swelled up. If it needs more water, add more water, and season accordingly.
  • Once the soup is done, add a bit of extra butter (optional), the rest of the herbs, the remaining lemon juice, the zest and the chopped chillis. Cover till you plan to serve.
  • Serve warm with a wedge of lemon and additional herbs sprinkled on top.

And that's it!

It's perfect for summer, and be careful, a little millet goes a long way, they're deceptively filling. DO try at home and let me know how it was!


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