Niagara Gazette —
• 1 pound leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
• 3 stalks lemongrass, smashed
• 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
• 1 large carrot, sliced
• ½ cup quinoa
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound pitted California dried plums (prunes), sliced
• 1 scallion, chopped, for garnish
Rinse the chicken and put it in a large stockpot along with the stock, leeks, lemongrass, celery and carrot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface.
Carefully remove the chicken and transfer it to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones (discard carcass and skin).
Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold running water; drain and add it to the stockpot. Bring the soup to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is soft and fluffy, about 15 minutes, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove and discard the lemongrass. Stir in the salt and pepper.
Cut the chicken breast into thin strips and add it to the stockpot, along with the dried plums (reserve remaining chicken for another use). Simmer the soup for 5 more minutes.
To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with scallions.
Packed with vitamin C and essential minerals like potassium and magnesium, dried plums —better known as prunes to some—contain a perfectly balanced proportion of soluble and insoluble fibers, ensuring bowel regularity, protecting against high cholesterol and heart disease, and preventing insulin resistance, making them an effective aid for weight management and diabetes care. Dried plums are very helpful for anemic people who may be experiencing the constipation that comes from taking iron supplements. A few dried plums a day help prevent constipation, a trait for which the dried plum has always been famous!
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