Chunky Chicken Minestrone

Adapted from Fresh Every Day: Great Recipes from Foster’s Market

This is a perfect winter soup – warm, comforting and full of vegetables. The cooking time is a little longer than I typically like on a weeknight, but the result is worthwhile if you can fend off the hungry kitchen lurkers with some carrot sticks or sliced cucumber. Am I fooling you here? Yeah, I didn’t think so. My children are eating Cheerios by the fistful while I try to wrestle a box of Triscuits away from my husband. I seem to be the only one interested in the crudite. I digress. When your lovely soup is done, enjoy it with a chunk of good bread and a glass of Zinfandel.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup small pasta (I used farfalletini, which is tiny little bow ties)
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (from a rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken breasts, see tips)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Onion will be softened and brown. Add the carrots, red pepper, tomatoes and zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the broth, chickpeas, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and green beans and bring back to a low boil. Cook according to pasta directions, or until pasta is tender and green beans are al dente. Add the cooked chicken, spinach, basil and marjoram, then remove the pot from the heat. Taste seasonings and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Top with Parmesan and serve.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. The day I made this recently, my grocery store was out of rotisserie chickens. A great way to get cooked chicken without using a rotisserie chicken is to buy chicken breasts with bone and skin. You will heat the oven to 350 degrees F, rub them generously with olive oil, sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper, then roast for about 40 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool until you can handle them to remove the meat. If you throw the chicken breasts in the oven while you are softening the onions in the first step, the cooked meat should be ready to go by the time you need to add the chicken. This works well for soups and salads, especially. The meat is flavorful and moist.
  • 2. I use a lot of chickpeas. If you don’t like them or prefer something else, consider using cannellini beans instead.
  • 3. There is no reason this shouldn’t be a great vegetarian dish! You can eliminate the chicken completely and use vegetable broth. To add back some protein from the missing chicken, consider an additional can of beans -either the same kind you already used or a different kind for variety.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 50 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4 – 6

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