08 May 2012

Foodie Tuesday | Garlicky White Bean & Chicken Soup with Dark Greens

After a weekend of more than a little over-indulging in the rich-and-tasty (read: fattening) food department, D. and I decided we wanted something a little lighter for dinner last evening to kick-start a week of healthier eating. Inspired by the return of the cooler weather I definitely felt like a soup was in order, and in a grand total of 20 minutes I whipped up this deliciousness. If you're looking for a quick and easy, healthy and delicious weeknight meal that will render LOTS of leftovers (and may also factor heavily in your anti-vampire arsenal), give it a whirl! I promise you won't be disappointed.

Preparation: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: the longer, the better, but minimum 30 minutes | Serves: 10-12

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cans white kidney or navy beans, with liquid
  • 10 cups water, divided into 2 cups and 8 cups
  • 3 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 5 - 10 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 6 cups dark greens
    (I prefer kale, but spinach or Swiss chard or any dark green of your choice will work)
  • Salt and pepper

Cooking Directions:
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add garlic, bay leaves and oregano; saute until fragrant (approximately 1 minute)
  3. To the garlic, add tomato paste and 2 cups of water. Bring to a low boil, then crumble all 4 chicken bouillon cubes into the mix along with the sugar, and stir until dissolved. Lower heat to medium-low.
  4. Add both cans of beans with liquid; stir to combine. Add the remaining 8 cups of water plus Tabasco sauce
  5. Finely shred the chicken breasts and add to broth. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (the broth will need very little salt, on account of the bouillon, but add substantial amounts of pepper. I usually use 1/2 - 1 tsp)
  6. Meanwhile, wash the dark greens thoroughly and roughly chop. Add to soup.
  7. Simmer on medium-low for minimum 30 minutes, but ideally for an hour or more. The longer you can leave the soup to cook, the more the flavours will mellow and blend. Kale is especially well-adapted to longer cooking times, as it retains its crispness unlike spinach, etc.
  8. Serve hot topped with shaved fresh Parmesan cheese and crusty bread. It will definitely taste like a second bowl, or a third!

Bon appetit!

{adapted from this recipe at The Nourishing Gourmet}