Trying to watch my weight these days is hard, like really hard.  Of course, I know this being a woman who has always had to watch her weight.  My new fitnesspal is truly making me choose between things that I really want and things I should sacrifice.  For example (not the best example), I nearly picked up a bag of chips for my lunch on Friday when a thought came to me… “I really want a glass of wine tonight.”  I know I should be thinking about an apple over chocolate, but this is where my head was at on Friday.  Of course, I put the chips down and enjoyed my glass of wine (maybe two) in the evening – somewhat guilt free.

We were in for a cold weekend so soup was on my mind.  I found a recipe on eatingwell.com for Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto, which I really liked the look of.   Chicken breast, fresh spinach and very healthy.  I thought I would give it a go, with the ingredients I had at hand.  The recipe did call for cannellini beans but unfortunately I didn’t have any and it was too cold to go out and buy some.   It also called for homemade pesto, however I had some amazing pesto that I had bought from SOWA so had to use it.

Chicken & Spinach Soup with Pesto

Adapted from a recipe on Eatingwell.com

Serves 4 – 5

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of white wine
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of ready made basil pesto
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add white wine, carrot, bell pepper and chicken; cook 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 just the chicken pieces to a mixing bowl.  What I should have done, had I of read the original recipe properly, was cook the chicken breast whole and then diced it.  Silly me. 

The best Pesto I have found!

 

 

Add spinach to the pan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

In a bowl mix together the chicken and pesto.

Stir the chicken and pesto into the pan. Season with salt and pepper.  Heat until hot.

This fragrant soup is fantastic – one of my favorite soups to date.  Warming, nicely spiced and with the smooth bite of parmesan from the pesto it is a soup I absolutely have to make again and next time cannellini beans. I literally had soup for the next five days.

My afternoon was perfect.  Hot soup and Food & Drink by my side.