I told you I make a lot of soup during this time of year! This soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients-chicken breast, bagged spinach (or frozen) & canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. I found it at eatingwell.com in 2009 & have prepared it countless times, of course adding any additional veggies which I have in my fridge. It is absolutely delicious, nutritious, easy & quite satisfying! Serve alongside a slice of rustic bread & you have one healthy, light meal!
5 servings, about 1 ½ cup each
2 tsp plus 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, approximately 8 oz.
½ cup carrot or diced red bell pepper (I always add additional veggies and much more than the recipe states)
1 large clove garlic, minced
5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (I use my homemade veggie stock. See post for recipe from February 10)
1 ½ Tbsp dried marjoram
6 oz spinach, coarsely chopped (yes, I add more:)
15 oz can cannellini beans
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (make sure you use good quality, fresh cheese)
1/3 cup lightly packed basil leaves, freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Heat 2 tsp oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrot & chicken; cook, turning chicken & stirring frequently, until chicken begins to brown. Add garlic & cook, stirring for 1 more minute. Stir in broth & marjoram, bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach & beans to pot & bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
- For pesto: combine the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, cheese & basil in food processor. Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water & scraping down the sides, as necessary.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Stir chicken & pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot.
Per serving: 204 calories; 8 g fat; 16 g carb; 18 g protein; 6 g fiber; 691 mg sodium