Soup for Breakfast


03 Jan Soup for Breakfast

Breakfast Soup Recipe - Asian-Inspired Quinoa and Chicken Soup - The Messy Baker

I struggle with breakfast at the best of times. Winter only makes it worse. It’s cold. It’s dark. One look out the window and any sensible person would dive back into bed until spring — or at least 10 AM — not head to the kitchen and prepare food.

I think the issue lies in my genes. I am a Night Owl. My natural rhythm seems about 2 hours behind the rest of the world. I simply am not hungry when I first wake up. Having talked to several other people who also describe themselves as “not a morning person,” I know I am not alone. Unlike the Early Birds, who leap from bed starving, our sluggish morning metabolism shuns food.

After I’ve been stumbling about for an hour or so, and the caffeine has pried my lids open, I am ready to munch, but on something sweet. Like cinnamon apple muffins or sour-cream-topped waffles dripping with maple syrup. I slurp hot popovers, crumpets or English muffins drooling butter. But I don’t. Experience tells me the surfeit of carbs will come back to haunt me.

But in the dead of winter, where does this leave me? It’s too cold for my summertime fallback — berries, yogurt and granola. I’m not big on eggs. Gag at the texture of oatmeal and would not feel the least bit cheated if I never saw, let alone ate, another sausage. After much thought, I have decided to embrace soup. For breakfast.

And why not? It’s hot. It’s healthy (or at least it can be.) With a little protein added to the mix it’s a more balanced, nutritious start than sugary boxed cereals. So, to test my theory, I cleaned out the fridge and made a pot of soup with the dregs of the holiday season.  I had the results for dinner. The leftovers got rewarmed for breakfast. They went down nicely with a slice of bread. I think I might be onto something!

What’s your cold weather breakfast food? Have a healthy breakfast soup recipe to share?

Chicken and Quinoa Asian-Inspired Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Fusion
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 to 4
This hot soup is a great way to use up leftover chicken. Crunch quinoa adds some texture and protein.
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock (or commercial low-sodium)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 Thai bird chile, sliced (you can add more whole chilis for effect)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup cubed chicken (either cooked or uncooked)
  • ⅓ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 cup vegetable such as chopped broccoli or slivered green pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional garnish)
  1. In a large, deep saucepan, combine the stock, lemon juice, chili, ginger, fish sauce, and brown sugar over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add quinoa and cooked chicken, if using. Increase heat to bring the soup to a boil. As soon as it reaches the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. If using uncooked chicken, add it now. Put a lid on the pot, and allow the soup to cook on low for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is almost cooked.
  3. Add the carrots, broccoli (or green peppers) and lemon zest. Continue to cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes or until the vegetables are tender crisp.
  4. Adjust to taste, adding more lemon or lime juice. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve piping hot.
Sliced mushrooms would also make a lovely addition. Only I didn't have any on hand. Next time...


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  • Connie
    Posted at 15:59h, 03 January Reply

    I don’t mind the oatmeal for cold weather breakfasts but I do prefer the summer breakfasts of fruit and yogurt. Soup is not that far fetched as I grew up with rice porridge for breakfast on some occasions. This soup looks lovely, it would make a warm, filling and nutritious breakfast or dinner!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:54h, 04 January Reply

      Like you, I prefer the fruit and yogurt breakfasts of summer. Just can’t do it when the snow is on the ground. I really wish I could do porridge but the texture is my stumbling block.

      The soup is quite filling with chicken, quinoa and veggies. I had it for dinner and breakfast! I’ll have to dive into my soup repertoire since it looks like it’s a long winter.

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 21:32h, 03 January Reply

    Charmian, something else we have in common-I cannot fathom how people can eat 30 seconds after waking in the morning. I need at least an hour. And oatmeal-shudder-unless it’s in a cookie. May need to try the soup thing!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:58h, 04 January Reply

      Lisa, are you a Night Hawk, too? Just curious. I am always looking to confirm (not refute) my theory :-)

      I love the taste of oatmeal and adore its crunch in cookies, crumbles and biscuits. Wonder if that’s part of the Night Hawk gene, too?

      So far the soup for breakfast idea is working for me. If you give it a try, let me know what you think. My hunch is the soup needs some protein, not just veggies.

      Good luck with your breakfast challenges!

  • Lisa MacColl
    Posted at 13:08h, 04 January Reply

    Charmian, yep, I am a night hawk. I married a morning person who falls asleep in his Lazyboy by 9pm for his nap before bed time. He found out quickly not to bug me before coffee…
    And oatmeal (and creme brulee) is a texture thing with me. Don’t love custards and mushy things…

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:32h, 04 January Reply

      I married another Night Hawk, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Neither one of us likes to get up or do anything but grunt before coffee. Hardly a treat when you have to get up at 5:30 AM like he did all last semester.

      I actually like crème brûlée, which is silky, but can’t handle the gelatinous texture of crème caramel. Wonder if the texture gene is tied into our circadian rhythm?

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • Simone
    Posted at 22:23h, 27 February Reply

    I have soup for breakfast almost every morning! I am for sure a night owl too, usually getting home from work around 10-11pm. I have either tomato, chicken noodle or a winter/garden veg. Usually just the packet stuff too! It’s all i can be bothered to do in the morning, and same as you don’t want to deal with the carb after math that was my breakfast for many years ie toasties, crumpets, pancakes!

  • admin
    Posted at 23:08h, 27 February Reply

    Nice to know I’m not alone in the Soup for Breakfast category. I am fortunate enough to have a large freezer in the basement, so I have lots of soup on hand — if I remember to defrost it!

    I save pancakes, crumpets and English muffins for special occasions.

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