If you thought this sounds like Cooking Light threw together all the trendy ingredients randomly into one recipe, you’d essentially be accurate (they admitted as much in the magazine). In general, I thought this was fine, but not particularly exciting. The carrot flavor was pretty pronounced. I’d store the quinoa separately in the future because it sops up so much liquid.
- 4 center-cut bacon slices
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 3/4 cup chopped carrot
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 6 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 6 cups chopped kale
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings. Crumble bacon; set aside.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion, carrot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Remove mixture from pan.
Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté 6 minutes or until chicken is browned and done. Stir in onion mixture, chicken stock, bay leaves, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil.
Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well. Add quinoa to pan; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add kale and thyme to pan; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Discard bay leaves. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with bacon.