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Eat: Chicken Spinach Soup Recipe

(Yield: 5 Servings)

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. (If you’re pressed for time, just substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto.)


Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 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 reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons for garnish (optional)

Directions

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.

2. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

3. 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.

4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool.

5. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

6. 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.

7. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and stir the chicken and pesto into the pot.

8. Season with pepper. Garnish with croutons, if desired. ​​