Chicken and Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto

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

Ingredients:

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
Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

 

Bon Apetite!

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