Posted by: dinainsuburbia | March 8, 2009

Chicken & White Bean Soup with Herb Swirl*

I know, I know- it’s taken me FOREVER to get these recipes up!  I’ve been too lazy to transfer the photos over to my laptop.  I also just got back from Philly; I went to the flower show with my friend Samantha and had a ton of fun (I promise that I’ll post about this later today or tomorrow).  When I made the soup, it was still pretty cold out- of course now, we’re in the middle of a pretty decent warm spell.  That’s not to say the weather might go to cold again.  March is one of those unpredictable months!

So the Chicken & White Bean Soup is a recipe from March’s Bon Appetit.  Published as a “family style” recipe, it immediately grabbed my eye for two reasons: it was easy and it features ingredients already in my pantry.  Plus- it uses boneless skinless chicken breasts- the meat I have a love/hate relationship with (love because it’s cheap and low fat, hate because they’re low taste)!

My disclaimer on the recipe is that I did not make the herb swirl.  Being on weight watchers, I can’t afford to just luxuriously swirl olive oil all over my food!  If you want to go for it, please do- let me know how it turns out, I’m sure it will be delicious.  For the lower-fat alternative, please see my changes below.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (as I didn’t make the herb swirl, I didn’t use all this oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped sage
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped rosemary (most supermarkets sell an herb “clamshell” sold as Poultry seasoning- this pack has all 3 of the above herbs in perfect quantity at a great price, if you don’t need the herbs for another recipe, you might want to consider trying the Poultry Pack)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2- 15 ounce cans white cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh italian parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

DIRECTIONS

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For the Herb Swirl:  Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil and add the herbs and salt in small skillet over medium heat until the herbs are aromatic, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Pour herb oil into bowl and cool.  

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Saute chicken 5 minutes along with half the herbs if not using the herb swirl.  Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to bowl.  

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Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.  Add onion, carrots, celery, and the rest of the herbs; saute until beginning to brown, 15 minutes.  Mix in the last 5 ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat & simmer 15 minutes.  Add chicken and any juices from the bowl; simmer until cooked through, about 5 additional minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.

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If using herb swirl, ladle soup into bowls.  Gently swirl 1 teaspoon of herb oil into the center of each.

I served the soup with Parmesan toasts- I had frozen Italian bread, already sliced in my freezer- I just threw a few of those in my toaster.  When toasted, I rubbed each with a garlic clove (while still hot) and then sprinkled Parmesan cheese on each.  Super easy!

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