Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
From EatingWell: September/October 2009
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 are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto.
- 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, 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Per serving: 204 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 29 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 6 g fiber; 691 mg sodium; 529 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (110% daily value), Folate & Vitamin C (20% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat
More From EatingWell
In the dog days of summer, you don’t have to turn on your stove...Icebox pies are an easy and popular summer dessert, yet they're...Celebrate the season with EatingWell's best recipes from the...
Turkey sausage is a healthy, leaner alternative to...
You won’t waste half a day’s worth—or more—of calories with...
Celebrate summer’s fresh vegetables with our healthy recipes...
Getting your kids to eat healthy on a gluten-free diet can be...Chicken is a great ingredient for building a healthy and...
Gluten-free salads, soups and sides don’t have to be boring....
Healthy and slimming summer dinners shouldn’t be hard to find...
Beat the heat and embrace the flavors of summer with low-...
Our low-calorie pasta salad recipes will be a favorite dish...
Cool down with these healthy, homemade freezer pops. On hot...
If you find yourself short on time this summer, try these...
For a lighter option for dinner tonight, try making a quick...
Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking to cut back on...
- Ease of Preparation
- Preparation/ Technique
- September/October 2009
Connect With Us
Poll of the week
- Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans (189 comments)
- Chilaquiles Casserole (103 comments)
- Hamburger Buddy (100 comments)
- Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies (87 comments)
- Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower (74 comments)
- Easy Salmon Cakes (73 comments)
- Broccoli-Cheese Chowder (72 comments)
- Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches (63 comments)
- Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce (58 comments)
- Beef & Bean Chile Verde (52 comments)