This soup really hit the spot! It was much better than the sum of its parts, and I’ll certainly have to make it again. It manages to be both bright and comforting. It’s also highly adaptable: I had to use onion instead of leek, and the original post suggests the addition of corn. It was great with the quinoa, but I could see another grain in its place, like barley or farro; I’d also make this with Meyer lemons if I had them on hand, and you could use rotisserie chicken instead of cooking it yourself if you want. And switch out the herbs, why not? I highly recommend this one!
2 Tbsp. lactose-free butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 leek, quartered, and white part sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced small (if you can find multi-colored carrots, those are beautiful)
2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. herbes de Provence
4 cups warm chicken stock/broth
1 cup fresh English peas (or frozen peas)
1 cup baby zucchini, small dice
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups cooked quinoa
¼ cup chopped, fresh basil leaves (I made a chiffonade)
4 lemon wedges, to garnish (optional)
Place a medium-large soup pot over medium heat, and add in the butter and olive oil; once melted, add in the sliced leek and diced carrots, and sweat for about 3-5 minutes, or until slightly tender and the leeks are becoming translucent.
Add in the garlic, and once that becomes aromatic, add in a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and the herbs de Provence; stir to combine.
Next, add in the warm chicken stock or broth, and bring to a gentle simmer; cover partially with a lid, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
Turn the heat off; add in the English peas (or frozen peas), the diced baby zucchini, the shredded or cubed chicken, and the lemon zest and juice; stir to combine, and allow the peas/zucchini to become crisp-tender and bright green in the hot stock, about 3-4 minutes; check to see if additional salt or pepper is needed.
To serve, add about ½ cup of the cooked quinoa to a bowl, and ladle some of the soup with the veggies and chicken over top; sprinkle over some of the fresh basil, and squeeze in some additional lemon juice from the lemon wedge garnish, if desired.