Monthly Archives: May 2012

Chicken and Spinach Soup


Yesterday was a rainy day. It was fairly warm out, but all the dreariness made me want soup. Luckily I had (most of) the ingredients for this soup. The recipe itself sounds pretty complicated, but I made some adjustments to make it super easy and quick. Also it’s low cal and has a good amount of veggies. It was a nice soup, not overly flavorful, but good.






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

My Notes…

First of all, I used store-bought pesto. If you’re going to do this you do not need the Parmesan cheese nor the basil leaves. Also if you have your own pesto recipe that you prefer you could use that. I put in about 4 tablespoons of the pesto, but you can change that depending on your tastes. I didn’t have marjoram, so I used Italian Seasoning (marjoram is in Italian Seasoning along with other herbs).  Also I used already cooked shredded, rotisserie chicken. This speeds up the process because you don’t have to cook, strain, or cut the chicken. The reduced-sodium, no fat broth is probably the reason that this soup wasn’t super flavorful. If you want a better tasting soup and aren’t on a diet like moi, I would use regular chicken broth. It’s a nice light spring soup.