While browsing through my mother's Sandra Lee magazine (I know, clutch your pearls in horror) I saw several recipes that I thought would be good for weeknight dinners. This easy, comforting soup was one of them. And it actually doesn't really use any pre-packaged processed food, unless you count the ready-made pesto. The white beans go nicely with the shredded chicken in a tasty broth. The pesto on top ends up just getting mixed into the soup of course, so if you don't like the taste of pesto, just skip it as a garnish.
I let the soup simmer a little longer than the recipe suggests both before and after the chicken is added. And if you are making shredded chicken instead of using a rotisserie one from the store, make sure you season it nicely with salt and pepper. I did not and I think it would have added even more flavor to this. Serve with a few slices of Texas Toast and a green salad!
White Bean and Chicken Soup with Pesto
from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine, Christmas 2011 issue
makes 5-6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
2/3 cup celery, chopped
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 1/2 cups water
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
12 ounces roasted pulled chicken (I used a pound of shredded chicken)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons prepared pesto
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
Add stock, water, beans, tomato paste, and garlic powder. Stir to mix and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer, partially covered, for at least 20 minutes.
Add chicken and vinegar, simmer 5 more minutes or until heated through.
Serve immediately and top each bowlful with a tablespoon of pesto.