This Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup uses cashew cream for a creamy and delicious Paleo Chicken Soup. You won't miss the cream in this dairy free soup recipe!
I admit I'm one of those people who loves soup all year (my love for gazpacho and chilled soups is strong!) But there's something about the winter season that just makes soup so much better. There is nothing like sitting down to a bit bowl of nourishing soup as the cold evening sky twinkles with stars out your window.
And you know what? Sometimes I want that soup to be creamy! I love brothy soups but there is definitely something a little extra decadent, a little extra cozy, about a creamy bowl of soup.
Those who follow Prep Dish may have noticed we've been on a little bit of a roll with the dairy free recipes this year! I truly believe that eating healthy food should be fun in addition to nutritious and for some, that means coming up with dairy free alternatives to their favorites.
This healthy chicken pot pie soup really does have all of the nostalgic flavors of chicken pot pie, but with only super clean ingredients that will make you feel great.
I hope you love it!
Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 red potatoes
- 1 yellow onion
- 1/2 # boneless skinless chicken
- 15 oz chicken broth*
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Pour over 1⁄2 cup raw cashews and let soak for 20mins. Pour water and cashews into a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Mince garlic.
- Chop onion, celery and carrots.
- Dice 2 red potatoes.
- Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.
- In a large pot, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat.
- Add chicken, onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook for about 5 minutesuntil chicken is browned and vegetables are softening.
- Add minced garlic, diced red potatoes, 3⁄4tsp salt, 1⁄4tsp pepper and 1⁄2 tsp thyme and stir to coat chicken and vegetables.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer, covered, for 20mins, until potatoes are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in cashew cream.
What makes this a healthy chicken pot pie soup?
The term “chicken pot pie” doesn't exactly bring to mind thoughts of health and clean eating. BUT the key flavors, thyme, chicken and vegetables, are all super healthy! When you leave out the heavy cream and the buttery white flour crust, it's actually quite a nutritious combination.
Here are some of the nutritional highlights:
- Garlic: Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer.
- Onion: Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants?
- Carrots: Both budget and kid-friendly, carrots are full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium and vitamin B6. As a result, they’re great for eye health, lowering cholesterol and reducing cancer risk.
- Cashews: While generally thought of as nuts, cashews are actually seeds. They're rich in copper, magnesium and manganese. These nutrients are good for bone health, brain health and immunity. Cashews are also high in antioxidants and may benefit weight loss efforts, blood sugar levels and heart health.
- Celery: It's probably most famous for being a low calorie food, but celery is so much more than that! It offers vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, beta carotene and plenty of antioxidants. Celery also may reduce inflammation and support the digestive tract. Make sure to eat the leaves too, they're full of vitamins!
- Chicken: In addition to being packed with protein, chicken is a good source of iron, zinc, selenium and B vitamins.
- Red Potatoes: They get a bad rap sometimes, but the reason potatoes are considered unhealthy by some has much more to do with preparation than nutritional content. Sure french fries won't make the cut for superfoods, but neither would deep fried brussels sprouts…. Cooked in a healthy way, potatoes can be quite a nutritious side. They offer vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese and antioxidants. Much of the vitamin content is in the peel, so make sure to leave the skin on!
- Thyme: Like most herbs, thyme is full of health benefits. It's thought to potentially help lower blood pressure, improve immunity and even improve your mood. Many of the studies have focused on thyme essential oil, thyme extract or thyme tea so further studies are needed to substantiate the benefits of using thyme in cooking.
How can I make my own chicken broth?
Wondering how to make homemade broth? I assure you, it's totally worth the effort!
Homemade bone broth is super simple to make, very nutritious and uses kitchen scraps, making it incredibly cost effective. It also has SO much more flavor than store bought!
If you want to make your own chicken broth, start by roasting a chicken. Save all of the bones in a bag or container in the fridge. I also like to set aside the scraps from onions, carrots, celery and garlic (think the paper onion skins and carrot ends you'd otherwise be tossing in the compost). You can also add some ginger or parsley if you like!
When you're ready to make broth simply add the chicken bones and any scraps you've set aside to a big pot of water and add a splash of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps extract the minerals from the bones, making it extra nutritious. You can also add some salt if desired.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the broth simmer all day, filling your home with the coziest smell and producing a broth with such depth of flavor you may never buy store-bought again. Strain the broth and discard the bones and scraps.
You can also do this in the crock pot, letting it slow cook all day, or in the instant pot for 90 minutes.
If you're not making soup right away, store the broth in the freezer until ready to use. Bone broth is also great as a savory winter drink, especially if you're feeling under the weather.
Listen to episode 48 of my podcast, Meal Prep Monday, for more details on how I make bone broth!
Dried Herbs vs. Fresh – which is healthier?
While some herbs have a decent amount of vitamins, the thing that makes herbs super healthy is their high antioxidant content. Specifically, herbs like thyme contain polyphenols, thought to fight inflammation and disease.
While it's easy to assume that fresh is always better, drying herbs actually increases their polyphenol content, arguably making them even healthier than fresh herbs.
Of course there's no beating the flavor of fresh herbs if you have them on hand! Make sure to adjust the amounts if you decide to fresh herbs instead of dried in this recipe and feel free to add other herbs like parsley as well!
Thrive Market offers high quality dried herbs – that's what I purchase myself!
What are some other dairy free soup recipes?
Looking for more dairy free soup recipes? These are a few of my favorites!
- Chicken and Cauliflower Chowder: This is another creamy one that's totally dairy free! This chowder uses coconut milk to achieve the creaminess and it is so, so good.
- Gluten Free Pizza Soup: Hold the cheese please! (Or you know, sprinkle some on top if you like.) My gluten free pizza soup has all the flavor of a pepperoni pizza, without the crust or cheese. Make a batch next time the pizza craving strikes!
- Sweet Potato and Pear Soup: With only 6 ingredients, this is the perfect soup to whip up on a weeknight. Plus if you use veggie broth, it's gluten free, paleo AND vegan, perfect for a group with mixed dietary needs.
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