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Cleansing chicken soup with lemon, mint and buckwheat

18 July 2016

A cleansing chicken soup recipe inspired by popular Portuguese soup canja de galinha.

Chicken soup with lemon and buckwheat
Cleansing chicken soup with lemon and buckwheat

Cooking time

40 mines




For the soup

  • 1 litre water
  • 1 lemon, peel removed with peeler and finely sliced, juice reserved for serving
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2–4 chicken thighs (depending on size), bone in and skin removed
  • 100g unroasted buckwheat groats

To serve

  • 4 sprigs mint, leaves only, shredded
  • Juice of a lemon, to be added according to taste


This soup is a loose interpretation of the Portuguese and Brazilian canja de galinha, which is a version of healing chicken soup – every culture has one. While it’s usually served with rice, I’ve opted for buckwheat.

Buckwheat is one of those wonder ingredients, high in dietary fibre and with the power to regulate blood sugar levels and keep cholesterol in check. Also, despite its misleading name, it’s actually a seed, so it’s glutenfree.

It gives an unusual background flavour to this soup while adding a unique texture. If you’re not a fan of buckwheat, quinoa would be a similarly highly nutritious and quick-cooking grain to use.

To make, place everything in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is poached – approximately 40 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred it.

Stir in the mint and half of the lemon juice, then check the seasoning and add more if necessary. Divide the soup between two bowls and top with the shredded chicken.

This recipe is extracted from Just Soup by Henrietta Clancy, out now from Short Books, RRP £12.99

Visit our Soup and stew recipes section for more delicious meal ideas, including Greek chicken and lemon soup, avgolemono.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.