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Fast & Easy Dinner For Chicken & Spinach Pesto Soup

Monday's Leftovers: Chicken & Spinach Pesto Soup

Crazed start to the week? Then reassure your stomach and soothe the mind by using yesterday's chicken breasts to make a poultry riff on Provençal soupe au pistou.

This dish consists of assorted vegetables, with pistou, a sauce made of garlic, basil, olive oil, and Parmesan.

Serve it at room temperature, or piping hot, with fresh croutons for an element of crunch. If you're coveting the recipe, read more.

Chicken & Spinach Pesto Soup

Chicken & Spinach Pesto Soup

Fast & Easy Dinner For Chicken & Spinach Pesto Soup 2009-09-25 18:11:21


  1. 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  2. 1/2 cup carrot or diced red bell pepper
  3. 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces), cut into quarters
  4. 1 large clove garlic, minced
  5. 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  6. 1-1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  7. 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  8. 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
  9. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  10. 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  11. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  12. 3/4 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.

Makes 5 servings of 1-1/2 cups each.

Nutritional information 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.

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