Super Easy Superfoods
A nutrient-filled slow cooker chicken and quinoa soup with a Middle Eastern kick.
"Superfood" is not one of my favorite terms, but it's a great word to quickly capture the nutrient-rich characteristic of this chicken soup enhanced with quinoa, sweet potato and fresh spinach. The ingredients boast not only a host of a health benefits, but also gorgeous jewel tones that make the dish as stunning as it is nourishing.
To top it all off, the meal is as simple to make as throwing all the prepped ingredients into your slow cooker to do all the work while you are off doing other things. Just wait until the very end to add the spinach, which will turn a vibrant green as it cooks in just a couple minutes.
The primary seasoning here is a Middle Eastern spice mix called za'atar — a combination of dried thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. It is at once herbaceous, lemony and nutty, so this is a powerhouse ingredient. If you don't have access to za'atar (or dried sumac to make your own), see the recipe headnotes for a substitution suggestion.
Slow cooker chicken quinoa soup
The photographed soup included red quinoa, but feel free to use any color you like. Most boxed quinoa comes pre-rinsed, but if you are unsure, rinse the quinoa to prevent any residual bitterness. Fresh spinach also needs to be thoroughly rinsed to ensure no grit. The za'atar is a characteristic component of the soup, but if you do not have it or cannot find it, substitute 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and sesame seeds and finish the soup with a few gratings of lemon zest.
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