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Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
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Rating: 4   Reviews: 1 See Reviews
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Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  30 Minutes
  5 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
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)
Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto Recipe at
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.

Recipe reprinted by permission of © EatingWell Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 12/01/2009
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Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   5 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Calories: 204
Fat. Total: 8g
Protein: 18g
Carbohydrates, Total: 16g
Fat, Saturated: 2g
Fiber: 6g
Cholesterol: 29mg
Sodium: 691mg
% Cal. from Fat: 35%
Spotlight Recipe Review See all 1 reviews »

Rating: 4
by: Rhonda Reviewed: 06/11/2014
Very good and easy
It is a variation on the Italian Wedding Soup, but likely a little better for you because of the chicken breast meat. I added some red pepper flakes, and used the kale I had on hand, which really holds some chewiness, and I liked that. I thought the idea of using pesto was really great, would not have thought of it on my own.
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