In January 2011, when my second baby was just months old and I was suffering from some pretty extreme postpartum blues, I took a chance and applied to become a featured blogger for Whole Living Magazine. What I’d be doing as a featured blogger was following Whole Living’s 28-Day Action Plan, which was a basically the Whole30, before the Whole30 came on the scene.
As I embarked on the 28-Day Action Plan, and cut out all refined foods, including coffee, gluten, sugar and dairy, I was excited. But my excitement soon turned to searing headaches, frustrating cooking sessions in my original 1940s kitchen, steep learning curves and a hunger like I hadn’t experienced before. As a tired, nursing mother, all I wanted to do was sit down with a plate of cheese and Wheat Thins, but I endeavored to stay true to the challenge.
Once I rounded the bend and felt like I could more efficiently and easily prepare health-promoting foods, I found this soup recipe on the Whole Living blog. It became one of the first recipes I made that satisfied me, warmed my insides, and was easy enough for me to prepare, double batch and reheat in a pinch. I ate it for lunch, dinner, and, on somedays, for breakfast!
Over the last six years, I have modified the recipe to make it easier to prepare — for instance, I use baby spinach instead of collards because I can easily grab a generous handful of greens from a pre-washed box, versus washing and trimming large collard leaves, but you can use collards or kale or any type of dark leafy green. I also have the butcher cut my chicken breasts into one-inch cubes so I don’t have to do that step at home.
I consider this recipe the one that ushered me into the world of whole-foods cooking and nutrition, so it holds a special place in my heart. Here you go; I hope you enjoy it!