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Chunky Chicken Soup with Buckwheat

For generations, chicken soup has been a remedy of choice for mothers with sick children - and recent year studies have shown that chicken soup is actually an effective remedy for colds and fevers due at least in part to the lean protein and nutrient-rich vegetables helping boost your strength to fight off a cold. But this tasty and powerful combination of vegetables, whole grains and health-enhancing herbs can be enjoyed any time. Our recipe calls for buckwheat, a whole grain that's a good source of fiber and magnesium. It's also gluten-free and is not a member of the wheat family so it is appropriate for those with celiac disease.

Chunky Chicken SoupIngredients:

2 tsp. olive oil
1/3 cup whole buckwheat
1 cup water
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 large celery rib, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, or fresh chopped onion
4 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided*
2 cups roasted chicken breast, in bite-size pieces
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

*To reduce sodium content to 80 mg per serving, use low-sodium chicken broth.  Be sure to choose chicken broth which contains no unhealthy MSG.

(As always, for the healthiest recipe, use organic content whenever possible.)

Instructions:

1. Heat oil to medium-high heat in medium-size saucepan. Add buckwheat, stirring constantly, until grains are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Off heat, pour in water, taking care, as liquid will spatter. Return pan to stove, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, covered, until buckwheat is al dente, about 15 minutes. Set covered pan aside.

2. Place carrots, celery and onions in large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup broth, cover and simmer over medium-high heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, 10 minutes. Add remaining broth, chicken and cooked buckwheat. Add salt and pepper to taste. When soup is hot, divide among four wide, shallow bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 210 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 
15 g carbohydrate, 25 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 530 mg sodium.

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