Soothing to the body and the soul, this Paleo chicken vegetable soup is low on carbs and super high in flavor. Perfect for warming you up on any chilly day, this easy gluten free soup recipe packs a few out-of-the-ordinary ingredients that take its flavor profile to the highest level.
Oh Mirliton, Yummy Mirliton, How I Adore Your Fall Arrival Into My Life…
Every fall, I am crazy happy to start seeing mirliton pop up at my local grocery store and veggie market. Also called chayote squash, vegetable pear, and mango squash, this beloved south Louisiana squash finds its way into several casseroles and winter holiday dishes that we wait all year to savor.
Mirlitons have a soft exterior skin that pulls away easily, revealing a crunchy raw flesh that’s comparable to potato. Raw or cooked, its flavor is a little hard to describe. I would say that it’s taste is definitely ‘squashy’, similar in taste to zucchini or yellow squash, but milder. Yep. Its this mellowness that drives Louisiana cooks to stuff mirliton halves with shrimp and/or crab mixtures, or incorporate the usually boiled squash into casseroles that feature – you guessed it!! – Gulf seafood.
Any way you serve mirliton to me, I am probably going to like it and want to eat it again. Soon. But, true to form, I am always on the lookout for new ways to eat it so I can enjoy all I can before my stores stop carrying them until the next fall.
So, when I had a couple mirlitons in my fridge the other day, I knew that I wanted to do something brand spanking new with them. And since the early fall chill was seeping into my bones, I thought that a light yet hearty Paleo chicken vegetable soup was exactly what Mark and I needed to welcome autumn into our home.
Mirliton Makes This Paleo Chicken Vegetable Soup a New Keeper
I admit that when I think of making soup, potatoes are the first veggies that usually come to mind. I love potatoes and could probably eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three weeks straight without one regret nor complaint.
But, when I was looking at the beautiful light green flesh of the two peeled and diced mirlitons, I thought ‘Who needs potatoes today? Not me, nope.’
Lucky for me, I also had broccoli, cauliflower, Rotel tomatoes, and roasted garlic on hand to add to the Paleo chicken vegetable soup mix. Yes!! Roasted garlic!!! Yay and yay again!! One little roasted garlic bulb adds sooo much flavor and depth to the soup. Please, please don’t skip it!! It makes all the difference in the soup, I promise…
Once you have all of the veggies chopped (or used mostly frozen ones like I did, cause who’s telling???), just set them aside and wait for the chicken to poach in the broth.
Then, pour the veggies into the broth, and wait for about 30 minutes for the mirliton and other veggies to soften. And, then grab a big spoon, cause this Paleo chicken vegetable soup is overflowing with bite-sized chicken and veggies pieces that you’ll want to enjoy together in one oversized bite. Yep. Enjoy every hot, super delicious spoonful, and see y’all on the yum side…
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- 1 small head garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds chicken breast, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 2 mirlitons, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes and green chilis, drained
- 8 cups chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove outer layers of one small garlic bulb. Use a sharp knife to cut about ½ inch of the top of each clove off. Place the head on a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to cover the whole head.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the bulb. Season with the SP&C.
- Wrap the garlic head with the foil, and place atop a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and browned.
- While the garlic is roasting, season the chopped chicken breast with the lemon zest, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, dried parsley, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the seasoned chicken, and poach the chicken for about 10 minutes in the broth.
- Remove garlic head from oven, and let cool slightly before removing roasted garlic cloves.
- Place the roasted garlic cloves, chopped onions, bell pepper, celery, mirlitons, cauliflower, broccoli, and Rotel tomatoes and chilis in the broth and chicken mixture carefully. Add remaining dried rosemary, and season with additional salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, if desired.
- Stir, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the mirliton is tender.