Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup, A Little Sunshine In My Spoon

Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

There’s a quality to the late spring and early summer sunlight that is different from any other time of year; it’s yellower, brighter and seemingly more deliberate, somehow. The sun shines down on us from a high point in the mellow blue sky in this warm season, and for me, takes on an almost “tangy” quality—a lemony and piquant “high note”.

Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

Late spring and early summer remind me of one of my favorite pieces of produce that I so often use to liven up so many of my foods, both sweet and savory—the fragrant and refreshing lemon.


Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

If a lemon were a person, it seems like it’d be the talkative type, and far from being shy. Lemons are bold and colorful, alive and wonderful in bringing out the best qualities in other foods, and they do it seamlessly. Their flavor often ties everything together into a palette-pleasing and awakening experience, something which begins to be craved in the dishes of this time of year, in particular.

Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

When the weather starts to become warm, and the light outside gets bigger and more golden, a simple and refreshing meal that takes only a few moments to put together sounds like the perfect thing to prepare. Bright, seasonal vegetables, tender chicken, fresh basil and some healthy quinoa come together to create a little “spring harvest” in a bowl—a delicious and light soup finished with a healthy squeeze of a vibrantly ripe and juicy lemon.

It’s spring-time reproduced in a colorful and broth-y soup, and a little taste of sunshine in my spoon.

Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

It always makes me happy when I can somehow capture the unique characteristics of a season in a meal. Mildly tangy, light and healthy, this Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup with Quinoa and Fresh Basil is the perfect bowl of goodness to prepare for this “lemony” time of year.

Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

So enjoy the glow of the sunlight; enjoy the lightness of the breeze as it flitters and dances around you. Treat yourself to a little taste of the color of the season, and allow a bit of late spring’s tangy light to shimmer and glisten in your spoon.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


{ 83 comments… add one }

  • Allyn June 4, 2014, 6:55 am

    I’ve never done quinoa in a soup before! But add lemon to anything and I’m there.

    • The Cozy Apron June 4, 2014, 3:03 pm

      Hi Allyn! I’m so with you—lemon in everything! :-) And I also think you’ll like the quinoa, too. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Rachael June 8, 2014, 3:13 am

    Thanks so much Ingrid! I found your recipe on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. I cooked it tonight, and I am addicted! The lemony tang is amazing! My boys loved it too.

    • The Cozy Apron June 8, 2014, 1:26 pm

      Rachael, I’m so happy to read that! I’m thrilled that your boys loved it, as well—whenever the kiddos enjoy something that’s also full of veggies and healthy for them, it’s always a bonus! :-) Thank you for sharing with me.

  • Joanne Murray June 15, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Hi Ingrid,
    I made this last night and my picky eaters gobbled it down. Really delicious and quick especially with the rotisserie chicken. It’s all gone…lemony YUM!

    • The Cozy Apron June 15, 2014, 5:51 pm

      Joanne, I’m so happy to read that! And I’m also glad that it was fairly convenient for you—it’s a good, healthy and quick little soup that both adults and kids, including “picky eaters”, can enjoy! Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

  • Sara June 17, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I just made this soup, and oh my goodness, it’s just wonderful! It’s 90 degrees today, but it doesn’t matter. This soup is so light and fresh, it’s not like eating a heavy winter soup. I’ll be making this again and again. I’d never eaten quinoa before, let alone cooked it, but I really like it.

    • The Cozy Apron June 17, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Sarah, that’s great! I have the same thought about a soup like this; that though it’s hot outside, this type of soup is still, somehow, refreshing! So glad that you, too, enjoyed this recipe; and thank you for taking some time to share your experience with me. Here’s to cooking (and trying) new things!

      • Sara July 11, 2014, 1:55 pm

        Just a follow-up comment: I ended up freezing some of the soup since it’s just me and I couldn’t eat it all in a few days. It freezes great! I’m having some now and it tastes as good as it did the day I first made it.

        • The Cozy Apron July 11, 2014, 7:53 pm

          That’s excellent, Sara! Thanks so much for taking a moment to share that with everyone!

  • Elizabeth June 27, 2014, 8:01 pm

    Your photos are magazine worthy! Absolutely beautiful!

    • The Cozy Apron June 28, 2014, 4:18 pm

      Elizabeth, thank you so very much—my hubby, the photographer, truly appreciated your comment!

  • Aislinn July 9, 2014, 10:28 pm

    Hello. :) This soup looks wonderful and I am looking forward to trying it. I noticed in the pictures something red in your soup, but nothing red in the ingredients list. Is that bell pepper or tomato?

    • The Cozy Apron July 10, 2014, 10:48 am

      Good eye, Aislinn! No; believe it or not, that is actually carrot! It’s an “heirloom” type of carrot, which I had purchased at my local Trader Joe’s. In the bag there were orange, purple, reddish and golden. Couldn’t help but use those, as they were so pretty and colorful! Feel free to use regular carrots, of course. Hope you enjoy!

  • Veronica July 12, 2014, 7:48 am

    Hi! I’d love to try this recipe. Could you please tell me where I can find nutritional information for this soup.

  • Ladeetee July 12, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Awesome soup!

  • Eleni July 13, 2014, 4:44 pm

    Made this delicious soup tonight. It was the perfect evening meal on a warm summer night. I added a few handfuls of baby spinach at the end just because I had it on hand also had lots of fresh basil in my garden that needed to be used so this recipe really fit the bill. Add some fresh baked bread and my husband and I were both happy campers. Thanks!

    • The Cozy Apron July 13, 2014, 8:08 pm

      Eleni, that addition of spinach at the end sounds so very delicious, not to mention the garden-fresh basil! How wonderful. So glad you and your hubby enjoyed this light an healthy soup, with the perfect accompaniment of warm baked bread—one of my and my hubby’s favorite’s with soup, as well! Thank you for your comments.

  • nena July 13, 2014, 10:23 pm

    I just wanted to say…this soup looks great ..I will be making this tomorrow.

  • Liz July 17, 2014, 7:08 am

    I love this soup recipe. Thank you.

  • Aeryn Kelly July 18, 2014, 7:43 pm

    Just made this soup for dinner, came out great. I love anything involving lemons!

  • Janice July 19, 2014, 9:10 am

    This looks so good, I’m going to make it tonight for dinner thank you for sharing the recipe . Janice

    • The Cozy Apron July 19, 2014, 6:55 pm

      Janice, so glad to read that; it’s my pleasure to share! And I’m hoping that you really enjoy your dinner! :-)

  • flyby July 19, 2014, 10:44 pm

    I’ve made this soup two times in the past week. I am in love. It is sooo good. Made a double batch when I made it today.

    Haven’t had any quinoa on hand, so done it with barley.

    The lemon, though, is so divine. I am in love.

    • The Cozy Apron July 20, 2014, 5:08 pm

      Barley is perfect, too! I love the texture of it. So glad you’re enjoying this recipe—the double batch was a great idea!! :-)

  • Sara W July 22, 2014, 1:25 pm

    This was amazing!!! My husband loves soups of all kind and so I’m always looking for new recipes. And he absolutely loved this one. (He thought I got the recipe from his mom 😉 #winning.) I can’t wait to try your other recipes. Thank you

    • The Cozy Apron July 22, 2014, 2:51 pm

      Hi Sara! I can’t wait for you to try other recipes, as well! I love that “#winning”, haha! (And it really is when you’re talking something that reminds a hubby of his mom’s good cooking!) Thanks so much for your comments, and continued happy cooking to you!

  • Melissa August 3, 2014, 2:12 pm

    This was really great! We’re making it again tonight. I’d never used Herbs de Provence or leeks before. I’ve since used leeks in another recipe instead of onions and the flavor was awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    • The Cozy Apron August 3, 2014, 5:33 pm

      Melissa, don’t you love to find something new that you end up really enjoying and using again? So glad to hear that this soup is having an encore presentation at your home—thanks for sharing! Glad you’re enjoying…

  • Holly Turville August 17, 2014, 1:06 pm

    This is super delicious! We added a bit more broth and doubled the peas. Because I had no leeks, I used vidalia onion and a shallot. Super delicious—even without the quinoa (it’s just not for me.) Thanks for an awesome, beautiful and healthy recipe!

    • The Cozy Apron August 17, 2014, 7:57 pm

      Holly, so glad you enjoyed this with your specific swap-outs! Thank you for sharing your comments.

  • Carol Stone September 23, 2014, 1:42 pm

    I have not tried this yet but I defintely will. Is there any reason you cannot mix the Quinoa in with the soup. I didn’t know if there was a reason for serving the soup over it.

    • The Cozy Apron September 23, 2014, 1:59 pm

      Hi Carol, that is a great question, and I’m glad you asked. You can certainly add quinoa into the soup as it’s cooking; however, the reason that I never like to add anything like quinoa, pasta, barley, etc. into the soup is that it will end up absorbing a lot of the liquid, especially by the next day. This way, when it’s separate, the soup stays brothy, and I control how thick it stays. Hope that explains it!

      • Carol Stone September 26, 2014, 12:10 pm

        Thanks, that is what I thought, I just wanted to verify. I will probably add the Quinoa and if the soup gets too thick I will thin it with water and a bouillon cube.

  • michele October 4, 2014, 5:56 pm

    It’s getting pretty cold in MN already, but I still wanted a light soup. This was delicious–thanks for the recipe!

  • Sarah October 5, 2014, 3:50 pm

    hello! this looks so yummy i just bought all the ingredients but i’m totally new to leeks. could you be a bit more specific about how you’re supposed to cut them?excited to make it! thanks so much!

    • The Cozy Apron October 5, 2014, 9:43 pm

      Hi Sarah, my pleasure to help! Best way to cut leeks is to just lop off all of the green part and toss it, leaving just the white part (it looks like the white part of a huge scallion/green onion.) Take that white part, and quarter it (slice it in half lengthwise, then again so you have four smaller sections) then slice. Basically, you just want to slice the white part of the leek into thin slices. Hope that helps, Sarah! Please enjoy…

  • Kim October 22, 2014, 12:13 pm

    We have just recently decided it was time we started eating healthier. I made this last night and I was pleasantly surprised at how fantastic it was. I had left over turkey breast and used that in place of chicken. Added green onions and a cup of spinach. This will be a great way to use up left over turkey after Thanksgiving. I’d give this recipe a 9. Great.

  • The Cozy Apron October 22, 2014, 6:41 pm

    Hi Kim, thanks for that! So glad you enjoyed this with your own little twist—it’s definitely a soup that can handle people adding in their own veggies or other substitutions. Best wishes on healthier eating! :-)

  • Kristina October 25, 2014, 2:34 pm

    Hello, I’m very interested in trying this soup, it sounds delicious! However, being a vegetarian, do you think it would be possible to substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth and tofu for the chicken (i.e. same quality and reasonable taste)?

    • The Cozy Apron October 25, 2014, 3:04 pm

      Hi Kristina, you can certainly sub veggie stock for the chicken, and tofu for the chicken. Truthfully, you can even leave out the tofu (or chicken, in this case) altogether, and just make it veggie soup. :-) Enjoy!

  • Angie February 3, 2015, 8:09 am

    Hello! This looks like a lovely soup to warm up with this week. It’s pretty cold up here in North Dakota and soups are always my go to when we need some comfort food! I love that this one sounds like a little bit of sunshine, which we definitely need. I’m hoping my 14 month old daughter will like it too. She loves peas and soup so I’m thinking it’ll be a hit. Thanks for the great idea!

  • The Cozy Apron February 3, 2015, 6:08 pm

    Hi Angie, I’m so excited that you’re thinking of trying this soup out! I really believe that your little precious gem of a daughter will also love this, especially if she’s already one to enjoy soup (and peas!). This will perfectly warm your bellies, and I do hope that it takes the edge off the cold for you! Please enjoy.

  • Robin February 9, 2015, 1:29 pm

    Thanks for this! Just made today and just wanted to say thank you. What a fabulous fresh soup, and hearty too. Also perfect for any time someone mentions they aren’t feeling well.

    • The Cozy Apron February 9, 2015, 2:36 pm

      Robin, my dear, you are more than welcome—it was my pleasure to share this with you! And you’re right; this is definitely one of those soups that is perfect for preparing for someone a under the weather, for a little comfort and warmth. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!

  • Pam February 10, 2015, 1:07 pm

    Made this today and so yummy. I am on a strict diet so no butter or oil. I water sauteed the veggies. I also made it vegetarian so I am sure changed the flavor a bit but none the less delicious. I also added spinach as I didn’t have fresh basil. Will use fresh next time.

    • The Cozy Apron February 12, 2015, 4:36 pm

      Hi Pam! Way to make this recipe “taylor-made” for you—great substitutions, especially considering that it’s a very strict diet. Glad you enjoyed!

  • LeAnn February 26, 2015, 8:31 am

    Just made this last night!! It was very good! Thought I would share something funny – I used some purple carrots in with my regular carrots and well….everything (except the zucchini and peas) turned purple! Hahaha we had purple chicken soup for dinner last night! I wonder if this was bc I chopped them in my small food processor or if I should just rinse them post-chopping :) Super fun dinner tho!

    • The Cozy Apron February 26, 2015, 3:58 pm

      That is so funny, LeAnn! Thanks for sharing that…you know, certain foods, like beets for example, easily leech out color. So perhaps had you kept it a bigger dice, it wouldn’t have colored the soup so much; who knows! :-) I’m just glad you enjoyed, regardless of the mauve color, haha!

  • Amanda March 20, 2015, 9:42 am

    I made this last night, shocked how great it is! The lemon is such a tasty, tangy touch. I love soup (and make it A LOT) and this might be one of my favs. I did use more broth than suggested, but I tend to not measure and just eyeball it. Thanks for the great recipe! Excited to have a spring/summer soup on hand 😉

    • The Cozy Apron March 22, 2015, 4:44 pm

      Hi Amanda, so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for your comments.

  • Mel March 29, 2015, 7:31 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is SO GOOD. I made it weeks ago and couldn’t quit thinking about it. I had to make it again. I love the lemon in it! It’s really really perfect. Thank you for this recipe!

    • The Cozy Apron March 30, 2015, 6:13 pm

      Hi Mel, it’s my pleasure! So glad you’re enjoying this soup! :-)

  • Audra March 31, 2015, 2:41 pm

    Looks delicious…would this work in a crockpot? I guess I could keep the broth portion in crockpot and add quinoa 30min before serving to allow for heating?

    • The Cozy Apron March 31, 2015, 5:54 pm

      HI Audra, you could certainly try and prepare this in a crockpot if you’d like, but honestly, it’s super quick cooking on the stove top, if it’s just a matter of time for you. (I’d hate for you to have cooked-to-death veggies!)
      And as far as the quinoa, keep that separate; you don’t want to add it directly into your soup anyway, as it will completely absorb all of your good broth. Just add the cooked quinoa to each bowl of soup as you’re about to eat it. (And if your soups hot, it’ll warm the quinoa with no problem.) Hope you enjoy!

  • Paula April 4, 2015, 3:20 pm

    I just cooked this soup and it was absolutely delicious. Had to substitute barley for quinoa and mixed veggies for peas due to lack of other ingredients. The soup was out of this world. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  • Kristi Rimkus April 6, 2015, 8:30 pm

    I’m drooling over your photos. Pinned as a must make for sure!

  • Lindsay April 16, 2015, 4:50 pm

    Made this for dinner! Sooo tasty. Looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow!!

  • Robyn May 13, 2015, 10:23 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I found it last week and have made it twice already! My husband loves it too. There are very few foods I like so much that I can eat them several days in a row and not get sick of them, and I can eat this every day! So wholesome, healthy, fresh, and delicious. Will be good any time of year; I will put this into regular rotation and make it forever. It’s perfect, and you rock! Will definitely be checking out more of your recipes :)

    • The Cozy Apron May 14, 2015, 3:01 pm

      Hi Robyn! How awesome! So glad you and your hubby are enjoying this…and I feel honored that one of my recipes serves as something that you could eat several times and not get bored! :-) I truly hope that you do check out more of the recipes, and happy cooking to you!

  • Alyssa June 23, 2015, 11:24 am

    I love this soup, I want to make it for a friend who just had a baby. I feel like it would be easier for her to re warm it if I omit the quinoa and add noodles. Do you think I could just add some cooked noodles to it? Thanks!

    • the Cozy Apron June 23, 2015, 12:10 pm

      Hi Alyssa, what a sweet, wonderful gesture that you’d like to prepare this soup for your friend who just had her baby! I think she’ll really enjoy this; nice and light, but comforting and healthy. You can absolutely swap out noodles for the quinoa, if you think she’d prefer that; however, let me suggest that you do not add the noodles directly into her soup; keep them separate, as you would the quinoa. (Notice I don’t add it directly into the soup pot, only into the bowl prior to ladling the soup in.) Noodles (or quinoa) will absolutely absorb the broth/liquid, and the soup will become way too thick. So whether you choose to keep it to the quinoa or choose to use noodles, cook it/them separate (as per the recipe) to have on the side to add into individual bowls of soup, as needed. Hope she enjoys this!

  • Becky July 10, 2015, 6:28 am

    Is the red veggie in the pictures red pepper or carrots? I didn’t see red pepper in the ingredient list- just wondering;).

    • The Cozy Apron July 10, 2015, 12:17 pm

      Hi Becky, believe it or not, those are carrots! Trader Joe’s occasionally carries heirloom-type carrots, with bright orange-red, purple, and yellow, and I used those for extra color. But regular carrots are perfect, of course, as well!

  • Carolyn Schoenburg September 18, 2015, 11:15 pm

    I made this today, and it was the best soup I ever had! I need more of your recipes asap!

    • The Cozy Apron September 19, 2015, 10:11 am

      Carolyn, yes you do, lol! :-) So thrilled that you enjoyed this soup recipe so much, and thank you for taking a moment to comment and let me know! Now go grab some more soup (and other!) recipes!

  • Melissa October 19, 2015, 9:12 am

    Absolutely wonderful and delicious. I didn’t have leeks on hand, so I used a small, sweet onion instead. I’ll definitely be making this regularly.

  • Heather November 17, 2015, 7:11 pm

    Hi. I absolutely loved this soup. We had it for the first time tonight. I’m just now starting to keep track of calories. Do you by chance know an estimated guess per bowl since it doesn’t pop up on my Spark app? I will be making this a lot!! ❤️

  • Amanda January 15, 2016, 2:11 am

    I LOOOVEEE soup, and this is seriously my most favorite. I often alter recipes, not this one. It is perfect as is. I’ve made it multiple times, and every time I am delighted. I’ve gone vegetarian since the first time I made it, and I honestly think it’s even better without the chicken, the vegetables really shine. Thank you for the great recipe! (I share it a lot too!)

    • The Cozy Apron January 15, 2016, 8:24 am

      I love your comment, Amanda! So glad you are enjoying this soup, even your now vegetarian version! Good for you! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me, and for sharing my recipe with others, as well!

  • Darlene March 7, 2016, 7:22 pm

    This is the BEST soup! I made it tonight and soooo yummy! Thank you for such a fabulous and easy recipe. I can’t wait to eat it for dinner again tomorrow. Deeeelish

    • The Cozy Apron March 8, 2016, 2:26 pm

      Darlene, it’s my pleasure! So excited that you are enjoying the recipe so much—perfect light, healthy, and comforting little dinner! Thanks for your comments.

  • Christy May 2, 2016, 6:39 am

    I have made this soup twice and given out the recipe to others who have made it. Everyone loves it! The lemon, fresh basil and quinoa combo are delicious!

    • The Cozy Apron May 2, 2016, 3:47 pm

      Christy, I’m so glad you’re “tasting what’s good and passing it on”, lol! Glad you’re sharing this recipe. :-) Thanks for commenting, and I hope you and all of those who you’ve shared the recipe with continue to enjoy it!

  • Erika May 6, 2016, 7:26 am

    Do you think this could be done in a slow cooker? If so, what would you change about the recipe?

    • The Cozy Apron May 10, 2016, 8:24 pm

      Hi Erica, I don’t see why not! Truthfully, I don’t use a slow cooker, so can’t comfortably advise on any changes; I’d think that cooking on low to keep the veggies nice and bright (not overcooking) may be helpful.

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