Pesto Chicken & Cannellini Bean Soup

Pesto Chicken & Cannellini Bean Soup

1 Review
From: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook

This healthy, Italian-inspired chicken soup recipe is loaded with fiber-rich vegetables and beans and gets an extra boost of flavor from a swirl of pesto at the end. To get a homemade stock flavor using store-bought broth, we simmer bone-in chicken breasts in the broth before adding the rest of the soup ingredients.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 3 cups sliced fennel
  • 3 cups broccolini (1-inch pieces; about 1 bunch)
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto


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  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oregano and marjoram; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth and chicken. Cover, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part without touching bone registers 165°F, 20 to 22 minutes. Skim any foam from the surface as the chicken cooks. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred.
  2. Meanwhile, add fennel, broccolini and tomatoes to the pot; return to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 10 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken, beans, salt and pepper and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in pesto.
  • To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate, without the pesto, for up to 3 days. To serve, reheat and then stir in pesto.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1¾ cups
  • Per serving: 271 calories; 11 g fat(2 g sat); 4 g fiber; 18 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 22 mcg folate; 48 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 1,165 IU vitamin A; 32 mg vitamin C; 134 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 588 mg sodium; 806 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (53% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 2½ lean protein, 1½ fat, 1½ vegetable, ½ starch

Reviews 1

November 01, 2016
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By: Melissa Halbach-Merz
I have made this soup at least 5 times and it really fills you up without noodles or rice. I use 4 chicken stock cubes instead of chicken broth and boneless, skinless chicken breasts and it still tastes great. It's easy to double the recipe. The soup stores well- better than most- and you can just swirl the pesto in at the end when it is re-heated. I like to add parmigiano cheese too. It's hearty without carbs.
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