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Chicken Soup with Pesto

  Makes 5 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
  Prep Time: 30 minutes
  Total Time: 30 minutes
  Ease of Preparation: Easy

 2 teaspoons 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 reduced sodium,cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
 3-4 tablespoons of store bought pesto
 Freshly ground pepper to taste 

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. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. 

Nutritional Notes: 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).