PF Kitchen: Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto


2 tsp plus 1T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup organic carrots, diced
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
8oz boneless, skinless organic chicken breast, cut into quarters
1 large clove garlic, minced
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ tsp dried marjoram
6oz baby organic spinach, coarsely chopped
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground pepper to taste
¾ cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons for garnish (optional)


Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots, bell peppers 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. 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.

Makes 5 servings. Serving Size: About 1 1/2 Cups
Per Serving:
227 calories, protein 19g, carbs18g, fiber 6g, sugars 2g, fat 9g, sat fat 2g, cholesterol 29mg, sodium 211mg

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