As Grenville said in an earlier post, today is a rainy Sunday, perfect for sitting down with a good read. Minding Frankie, is the latest and highly enjoyable book by Irish writer Maeve Binchey. She is one of my favorite authors; reading her books is like spending time with familiar friends “met” in her earlier books. In a previous post, I mentioned how much Grenville and I printed books. Curling up with an electronic reader just isn’t something to do on a rainy day – or any other day, at least for us.
Did I mention it was raining a LOT?
Great day to try a new soup recipe to enjoy for dinner with salad and
homemade wheat bread. Scratched that last item, because the South Beach recipe is NOT worth posting. This loaf is going to the feeders for unwelcome visitors – starlings and grackles.
This Bean and Chicken Soup recipe was in a free magazine, Nature’s Place, available monthly in our local supermarket and published by Taste forLife. The website has recipes and healthy eating tips.
In the freezer this week, I found a package of pre-cooked chicken, leftover from a recent dinner. I read the recipe through and opted not to use pesto, since it’s not one of Grenville’s favorites and rarely on hand. Instead, I substituted a package of frozen chopped spinach. NO need to defrost it first. Also, I used a tbsp of jarred, minced garlic, no cloves available.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (this gives it a kick – omit if you prefer)
- 6 C low-sodium chicken broth (stock if you have it)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 cans (14-19 oz) cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 C shredded cooked chicken
- ¼ C store-bought pesto (optional)
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar (see Note)
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and sauté until softened.
- Add celery, carrot, garlic, oregano and cayenne, sauté for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in stock, salt and black pepper and simmer until vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes.
- Add beans, chicken, 2 TBSPS of pesto (if using) and all of the vinegar OR add in frozen spinach.
- Heat until steaming. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with remaining pesto (if using).
NOTE: seasoning with a little vinegar at the end of cooking heightens the soup’s flavor. While most cooks only season with salt and pepper, a little acid can make the soup taste “just right.”