30-Minute Chicken and Vegetable Mediterranean Soup — An EASY soup that’s both HEALTHY and HEARTY!! Loaded with tender chicken, vegetables, garbanzo beans, and more! Ready so fast and it’s perfect for busy chilly winter weeknights!!
Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe
This Mediterranean chicken soup is hearty, filling, naturally gluten-free, and will keep you warm from the inside out on chilly days without adding an ounce of guilt (hello, Italian sausage and pasta).
You could easily omit the chicken to keep the soup vegan. If you’re looking for another great vegan soup recipe that’s loaded with vegetables, try my Weight Loss Vegetable Soup. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, it’s one of my favorite vegetable soups!
There are plenty of veggies in this soup, including onions, celery, fire-roasted tomatoes, and kale. All those veggies keep you full for quite some time.
Additionally, you can’t have chicken soup without chicken so there are tasty chunks of boneless skinless chicken breast as well as garbanzo beans for an extra boost of protein and fiber. (I used low-salt chicken stock so that I could control the sodium of the soup.)
What’s In Chicken Mediterranean Soup?
To make the healthy Mediterranean soup recipe, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Veggies (onion, celery, garlic, kale, artichoke hearts, fire-roasted tomatoes, zucchini)
- Chicken breasts
- Chicken broth
- Garbanzo beans
- Lemon juice
- Cayenne pepper
How to Make Healthy Mediterranean Soup
Simply brown an onion with celery before adding raw chicken, garlic, and seasoning with a generous amount of Italian seasoning. Add fire-roasted tomatoes and all of their juices, artichokes, along with 64 ounces of chicken stock.
After simmering briefly, add the kale, garbanzo beans, and turn off the heat. The kale will instantly turn vibrant green and wilt. Finish with lemon juice (read below why) and get ready to dive in.
Can I Use Different Vegetables?
Of course! Feel free to mix and match with the vegetables or beans of your choice. Easy additions or substitutions include zucchini, carrots, cannellini beans, swapping fresh spinach for kale, or incorporating fresh basil at the end.
Although my family isn’t a big fan, black olives or the olives of your choice would really emphasize the Mediterranean theme.
Tips for Making Mediterranean Vegetable Soup
First, make sure you season sufficiently with salt. I use kosher salt and in this recipe used nearly two tablespoons. That sounds like a lot but when you need to flavor a pound of chicken, a gallon of chicken broth that was the low-sodium variety, and add flavor to all the various vegetables and greens, you need salt.
Part of what makes soup so tasty and comforting is salt. Restaurants and prepared soup that comes in cans and cardboard containers tend to go overboard, but you do need a decent amount of salt to make soup taste like soup.
Secondly, I finish almost all my soups with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Sometimes I use apple cider vinegar, but the acidic presence of either lemon juice or vinegar really brightens the flavor profile in almost all soups that aren’t cream-based or a bisque (i.e. skip the acids in broccoli cheese soup, creamy tomato, shrimp bisque, and so forth). In a soup with a Mexican flair like Chicken Tortilla, I use lime juice.
It is truly amazing with just a tiny bit of lemon/lime juice or vinegar can do to your soup. If you taste your soup and it seems a little flat, boring, or is lacking pizazz, it’s begging for a dash of an acidic liquid.
Thirdly, I frequently add a pinch of cayenne pepper to soup. I know there are people who loathe spicy food, and in most cases, I am not looking for my soups to be spicy, and I promise that the cayenne pepper doesn’t make the soup spicy in the least.
Rather, in this case, the cayenne adds a depth of flavor and some oomph to what could otherwise be a big pot of bland. I am talking two shakes from the pepper shaker to a gallon of liquid and pounds of other ingredients. It would be chemically impossible for two shakes to turn things ‘spicy’.
This is another situation where if you feel your soup is good, but missing something, try the cayenne pepper trick. Start with the tiniest pinch ever and see how it goes and work up from there.
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- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 extra-large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small
- 2-3 large stalks celery, diced small
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or pressed
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (raw), diced into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- one 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, do not drain
- 12 ounces artichoke hearts (I use frozen)
- 64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 small zucchini, diced small, optional
- one 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (I used no-salt added)
- leaves from 4 large stalks of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces (discard the center thick rib)
- kosher salt, to taste (I used almost 2 tablespoons because I used low/no sodium products)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, optional but recommended (brightens up the flavor)
- pinch of cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil, onion, celery, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic, chicken, evenly sprinkle with Italian seasoning, pepper, and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until chicken is about two-thirds of the way cooked through; stir nearly constantly to ensure even cooking.
- Add the tomatoes and juice, artichokes, chicken broth, optional zucchini, and boil about 5 minutes, or chicken is cooked through.
- Add the beans, kale, turn off the heat, and allow kale to wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Taste the soup and add salt to taste. Depending on your preference for salt, and how salty your ingredients were (the stock, tomatoes, beans), the amount of salt will vary.
- Optionally add the lemon juice, cayenne pepper (read the blog post while I highly recommend both), and serve immediately.
Artichokes: I used one bag of Trader Joe's frozen artichoke hearts and add them straight from the freezer; if using canned or jarred I recommend water-packed and drained
Storage: Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Adapted from Easy 30-Minute Kale and White Bean Chicken Soup.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 640Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 2109mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 4gSugar: 24gProtein: 48g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate, is only an estimate, and is provided by a computer-generated program. In this case, the values seem artificially high to me but I have not calculated by hand to cross-reference the computer estimates.
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