A light and healthy recipe with bold greek flavors. Today’s Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is a great way to warm your belly on cool autumn evenings!
Every time I make soup I start thinking about childhood and family placement. With just two babies, I obviously have an oldest child and a youngest child… the responsible independent one, and the cuddly cling-on who likes to have things done for him.
I always considered myself very average. In my mind, my oldest brother was “the smart one,” my older sister was “the artist,” my other brother was “the popular athlete,” and my younger sister was the “cute trouble maker.”
I, however, didn’t have a thing… a method for drawing attention and gaining acceptance. I wasn’t the smartest, most attractive, or most talented. So I spent a better part of my formative years being very shy and self conscious.
Before you start feeling sorry for me, let me state, I believe this did me a lot of good.
I remember as a teenager determining one day that since I didn’t seem to excel in anything particular, if I wanted something, I was just going to work harder for it than anyone else. Instead of letting this thought defeat me, I decided to take it as a personal challenge.
Since I didn’t have an obvious “I should do this, instead of this.” feeling based on my shining attributes, I was forced to make a clear line-in-the-sand decision to go after my dreams regardless. I would have to study harder, practice harder in after school activities, and not rely on my looks to get me by. (I wasn’t a complete ugly duckling, but still.)
I also discovered I didn’t have to be the best at anything. Being the best is overrated. I just had to be good enough to get me where I wanted to go. I learned to persevere. And just as important, I learned to stop comparing myself to everyone around me, and stop worrying about what people would think when I made decisions. Two lessons that have had a huge impact on my life.
In other words, feeling average helped me develop character. Possibly earlier than I might have otherwise.
Perseverance has been more than a friend over the years. It has helped me push through the rough moments in life, let go of fear, set goals and reach them, lift those around me, and believe that I truly can do anything I set my mind to… As long as I want it bad enough and refuse to give up.
When I look at my two babies, I don’t hope for child prodigies, super models, or Rhodes scholars.
Instead I pray for kids that are forced to learn problem solving skills. Kids that choose friends based on kindness and integrity, instead of appearance and popularity. And above all, kids who will rise above their circumstances, no matter what it takes.
How does this have anything to do with today’s Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe?
Well, it doesn’t really.
It’s just a soup recipe my two sweet babies love. This Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is cozy, healthy, and loaded with greek flavors like garlic, earthy olive oil, and feta cheese. The little orbs of pearl couscous and morsels of cheese swirl to the surface with every spoonful. A sight that lifts the spirit and warms the belly.
This is the kind of recipe I make my kids when they come home worn from a long day at school. Sometimes their stories are filled with joy and excitement. Somedays they are teary recollections insecurity and defeat.
I always remind them that this day was just a small step on a long journey. The important thing is to keep taking those steps forward, no matter how hard it seems. Good things are ahead if you don’t give up.
Then I give them a warm bowl of soup.
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
YIELD: 6-8 servings
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
- Place the olive oil in a large 6-8 quart sauce pot over medium-low heat. Peel the onion. Then quarter it and slice into thin strips. Once the oil is hot, saute the onion and minced garlic for 3-4 minutes to soften.
- Add the chicken stock, chicken breasts, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the couscous, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Simmer another 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off.
- Using tongs, remove the two chicken breasts from the pot. Use a fork and the tongs to shred the chicken. Then place it back in the pot. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and chopped chive. Taste and salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.