Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
ACTIVE: 30 minutes TOTAL: 30 minutes
This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients—
boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a
simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor.
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoons extra-
virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup carrot or diced red bell pepper
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
(about 8 ounces), cut into quarters
1 large clove garlic, minced
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ teaspoons dried marjoram
6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great
northern beans, rinsed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¾ cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons
for garnish (optional)
1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add
carrot (or bell pepper) and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until
the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute
more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the 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 and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
3. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor (a mini
processor works well). Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping
down the sides as necessary.
4. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season
with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with croutons, if desired.
SERVES 5, ABOUT 1½ CUPS EACH
Calories 226, Fat 9g (sat 2g), Cholesterol 29mg, Carbs 18g, Fiber 6g, Total sugars 2g,
Protein 19g, Sodium 211mg, Potassium 525mg, Folate 77mcg, Calcium 93mg.
Tip: If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a
store-bought basil pesto. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for Eating Well.
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