Chicken and Spinach Soup

This quick Italian soup blends delicious fragrant ingredients with a simple homemade pesto that adds fresh flavor.


  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup carrot
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces), cut into quarters
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons for garnish


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add carrots and chicken. Stir chicken and carrots frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until chicken starts brown. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Mix in broth and marjoram and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Stir occasional for about 5 minutes, until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Add spinach and beans to the Dutch oven and gently boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine 1 tablespoon of oil, parmesan cheese, and basil leaves in a food processor. Blend ingredients until they form a paste. If needed, add a little water and scrape down sides.
  4. Chop chicken into bite size pieces. Mix chicken, paste, and pepper into soup. Heat all the way through. Top with croutons.

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