There’s nothing better than a hearty soup to soothe the soul, especially after spending the holidays feasting on food that probably found you a few pounds heavier! Yikes!
This Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup recipe is here to the rescue!
If you found yourself suffering from winter carb overload, this detoxifying low carb soup will help usher in a healthier way of eating this Spring (or any time of year).
Packed with a detoxifying blend of lemon, herbs, lean protein and greens – this soup is a perfect combination for the 17 Day Diet or any low carb way of eating.
This recipe is also great for the Keto Diet and 17 Day Kickstart Diet, so if you’re on either, keep reading as I’ll give you minor adjustments to make this recipe work for your particular weight loss program.
Detoxifying Low Carb Soup
I pulled this Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup straight from my annual Fresh & Clean 17 Spring Cleanse meal plan so you could enjoy this detoxifying low carb soup all year round.
My Fresh & Clean 17 Community Cleanse happens once a year (every Spring) and the meal plan not only features this lovely dish, but a ton of Spring-inspired detoxifying meals to help you shed winter weight.
Members who participated in my Spring Cleanse loved this soup, so I thought I’d share it with you!
I also updated my 3 Day Detox Meal Plan for Weight Loss to include this nourishing soup because it’s a perfect blend of ingredients to help you lose weight.
Plus, it’s filled with fiber so it keeps you full longer. A win-win in my book, especially when you’re on a detox!
Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup Ingredients
The ingredients are fairly straight forward in this Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup. I find that simple ingredients in a recipe make for a better flavor experience.
No need for anything fancy in this detox soup! Here is a quick overview of the main ingredients (the full recipe is at the end of this post).
Onions, Carrots and Celery
I’m personally not a fan of raw onions, but in this soup it adds a great flavor and they cook up so tender and add a lot of depth to the flavor of the soup.
If you’re like me and love a ton of veggies in your soup, you can certainly double the amount of carrots and celery and still have enough broth to feed an army!
Low Sodium Chicken Broth
The key to this soup is to keep the sodium content pretty low, so make sure your chicken broth is the low sodium variety.
If your soup is filled with sodium, you’re going to have difficulty with water retention, and that’s the opposite effect you want when enjoying a detoxifying soup for weight loss.
If you want to make homemade broth, this is fine, too! However, if you’re like me and enjoy the convenience of a store-bought broth, this is the way to go.
I think dried seasonings are a blessing adding bursts of earthiness and freshness to your soup! The Thyme in this soup gives it a great, earthy flavor.
This Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup calls for a 1/2 teaspoon of dried Thyme, but you can certainly double the amount if you want more of the thyme flavor in your soup.
If you’re a fan of fresh herbs instead of dried, you can definitely swap out your dried herbs with fresh thyme. If you’re converting dried thyme to fresh thyme, you’ll use a 3:1 ratio (3 times fresh than dried) – so in this case, you’ll use 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme.
You can certainly use more or less, depending on your preference.
Adding greens to your detox soup is a great way to increase your fiber intake. Kale is one of those funny greens – it can be tough in a salad, but in this soup it is hearty, tender and very flavorful!
If you buy a bag of chopped kale, make sure you discard any stems if you prefer to only have the tender leaves. I didn’t try this soup with any stems, so I’m not sure how tender they become as the soup simmers.
I used a big bunch of kale and removed the stems and lightly chopped the kale.
Another tip is to lightly massage your kale, especially if you’re using kale in a salad. Massaging your kale for a few minutes will allow the leaves to become tender.
Lemon Juice and Zest
For me, the lemony flavor of this soup is the star of the show! Not only do I adore lemons (I could almost eat them plain!), they bring a much-needed freshness to this detox soup.
The lemony zing in this soup reminds me of Spring!
Plus, lemon is a great detoxifying food, so you’d be silly to not include it in a detox soup!
I am a stickler for washing my fruit before eating it! This same advice holds especially true when zesting a lemon.
You definitely want to wash your lemon prior to zesting it so you have clean ingredients in your soup!
Cooked Shredded Chicken
Prior to making your soup, you’ll want to cook a few chicken breasts and shred the meat.
This Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup recipe calls for three cups of cooked shredded chicken. The amount of chicken breasts you use to yield three cups will depend on the size of your chicken breasts.
I used two large chicken breasts and had plenty of chicken to add to this soup.
If you’re pressed for time, you could certainly pick up a rotisserie chicken and use this instead. Remember to remove the skin!
The chicken along with the fiber-rich vegetables featured in this soup is so hearty. You’ll find that a nice portion of soup will keep you satiated for several hours.
Other Spring Cleanse Detox Recipes
As I mention earlier, this Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup was created for my annual Spring Cleanse Challenge called Fresh & Clean 17. This soup is perfect year round, so don’t let the seasons stop you!
If you enjoy this recipe, you may want to try out these other Fresh & Clean 17 recipes:
Other 17 Day Diet Soups for Weight Loss
If you enjoy this soup, you will certainly want to try out my other low carb 17 Day Diet soup, stew and chili recipes. Here are a few:
- Carrot and Apple Soup
- Middle Eastern Turkey and Carrot Stew
- Turkey Cilantro Enchilada Soup
- MaryPat’s Creamy Apple, Carrot & Cauliflower Soup
- Homemade Tomato Soup
- Chili Con Carne with Beans
- Butternut Squash Soup
17 Day Kickstart Diet Lemony Chicken and Kale Soup Recipe
As written, this recipe may be used starting on the 4-Day Soak Up Phase and 10-Day Stabilize Phase of the 17 Day Kickstart Diet when carrots are allowed. If you want to enjoy this soup on the first phase, simply omit the carrots.
If you’re not sure which foods are allowed when, make sure you check out my 17 Day Kickstart Food List.
Keto Diet Lemony Chicken and Kale Soup Recipe
This recipe can nearly be used as-is if you’re on the Keto Diet.
If you’re not overly concerned with the higher sugar content of carrots, then it’s fine to leave them in. However, if you feel carrots will take you out of ketosis, then best to omit them.
The same can be said for onions. If you don’t want the higher carb content, use less or leave them out.
If you make this Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup, I’d love for you to come back and review the recipe card below.
Plus, if you’re on social media, tag me @17ddblog and show me your bowl of soup! Enjoy!
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large head of kale, stems removed and chopped into pieces
- Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium high heat.
- Add onion, celery, and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions start to become tender.
- Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Next, add chicken broth, red pepper flakes, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper, and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
- Next, add chopped kale and continue to simmer for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the kale is tender to your liking.
- Finally, add the zest and juice of the lemon, along with the cooked shredded chicken to the pot and simmer until the chicken is heated through.
- Season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Discard bay leaf before serving.
17 Day Diet: Approved for all cycles.
17 Day Kickstart Diet: Approved for Soak Up & Stabilize Phases (omit carrots for Scrub Phase if you want to use this sooner).
Keto Diet: If you're really low carb, omit carrots and/or onions, depending on your macros and personal preference.
I like to massage my kale prior to using - it lightly tenderizes the kale, while allowing it to still hold up to the soup.
I’ve been loving the 17 Day Diet since 2011. I love sharing my favorite healthy recipes and meal plans to keep you motivated and on the right path to success!
When I’m not hanging out here, I enjoy quick trips to the Oregon Coast, designing my jewelry line and watching Outlander!
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