I am really good at taking care of my husband and everyone else and sometimes forget that I need to take care of me. I saw a soup similar to this in my favorite magazine, Eating Well, and have thought about making it for quite some time. Well, I finally made it for myself and it’s become my favorite lunch. One pot is enough for an entire week of lunches for me. I like it with a nice green salad.
I put the soup into pint jars so that I can pull it out of the refrigerator and pop it right into the microwave. I even eat it right out of the jar. Makes clean-up simple.
I’m a spinach and pesto fiend. I eat spinach almost every day, probably a pound a week or even more. I like it raw with nothing on it, in salads, with my fruit and cottage cheese, in omelets. I use pesto in so many things, too – as a salad dressing, a dip, on my eggs. They’re both full of good nutrients -so of course I thought they’d be great in a soup.
Another quick kitchen tip: When I roast chicken breasts for dinner I always roast a few extra for sandwiches, soups, and salads. It makes for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner. I like to make this soup with the extra chicken.
How do I roast bone-in chicken breasts? Place them skin side up on an aluminum foil covered sheet pan, rub with a little good quality olive oil, season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes, until juices are clear and they temp at 170 or so. Cover & let rest for 10 minutes.
I wanted to share with you a favorite kitchen gadget of mine – a digital kitchen scale. At first, I didn’t think it would be much use to me but now I don’t know what I’d do without it. Some things I’m good at eyeballing, other things I need some help.
I love that I can put a bowl on the scale, set it to zero, and then weigh whatever I need. It’s particularly helpful when baking. When writing this recipe, I used it to weigh out 6 ounces of spinach.
I only used four ounces, but now I know exactly how much I used so I could tell you. I’ve also used my scale to weigh meats for marinades, for cooking recipes written with metric measurements or in pounds/ounces, in baking, and in so many cooking recipes.
This particular model, the EatSmart Precision Pro Food Scale, will be one of the give-aways during Holiday Food Fest – which starts next Thursday! I like it because I can see the display easily when using large bowls and stock pots. It’s also light-weight, easy to store, and cleans up easily. The price point is good when compared to similar models.
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
- 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 large clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
- 5 cups good quality, homemade chicken stock
- 1 ½ teaspoons marjoram
- 4 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 large bone-in chicken breast, roasted
- 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
- 1 ½ tablespoons good quality pesto
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium high heat. Add carrots and cook for several minutes, until they begin to soften. Add garlic while stirring and cook for another minute or just until garlic begins to color.
- Add stock and marjoram. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, until flavors begin to infuse through the soup. Add spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Remove chicken from bone and shred with fingers into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken, beans, and pesto. Heat through. Taste and season with fresh pepper and more pesto as desired.