I love to cook and don’t mind spending some time preparing a recipe if it is going to taste great in the end. But there are days when I am short on time, and I just need something quick to fix so we don’t end up at the drive thru. Unfortunately, I don’t have many recipes like that. So when I’m in a hurry, I struggle with what to fix. Well, now I have 1 more recipe in my arsenal on days when there isn’t much time to cook. But the cool thing is, this soup is so good, I would even fix it for company.
There are only 5 ingredients in this soup (chicken, chicken broth, beans, fresh spinach, and pesto), which is why it is so quick to make. The reason it tastes so good with only 5 ingredients is the pesto. Made from basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil, just a third of a cup adds a ton of flavor. You would get the best flavor from homemade pesto. But since the point of this recipe is to save time, I bought mine. It is important that you use a good quality pesto though. My favorite is Trader Joe’s brand found in the refrigerated section. I like to use the chicken broth from Trader Joe’s as well. It seems to be a little richer in flavor. Use whichever one you like best. As far as the chicken goes, for me one of the easiest ways to get cooked chicken is to throw about 6 frozen chicken breasts into the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours. I put them into the freezer afterwards to save for when a recipe calls for it. I also sometimes just bake them covered at 350 for 1 hour. You could even buy a rotisserie chicken and cut up the already cooked meat. (By the way, my mom mentioned the other day that Costco’s rotisserie chickens have a lot more meat on them than the regular grocery stores, and they’re cheaper). Any of these ideas for cooked chicken would work just fine for this recipe.
I hope you get a chance to try this soup. It is great having something you can whip up so quickly. The other day my daughter called and asked if she and her roommates could come over for dinner. I only had a couple of hours to shop and prepare dinner. I had some cooked chicken in the freezer. I got the rest of the ingredients for the soup (all 4 of them) and some bread and had dinner on the table in a matter of minutes. Yet I felt like they were getting some good nutrition, and it was much better than cafeteria food (even though college food is a lot better than it used to be)! They ate the soup and asked for more. We had the soup again for dinner tonight. But it wasn’t because I was in a hurry. It was because we like it so much. So I’m passing this one along to you, hoping it will help you out on those crazy days when there’s no time to cook or those days when you just want something good to eat!
5 Ingredient Pesto Chicken Soup
- 4 cups good quality chicken stock
- 3 handfuls fresh spinach (about 3 cups)
- 2 c cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces
- 2 (14 oz.) cans Great Northern or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 c pesto (homemade or store-bought – I recommend Trader Joe’s brand if you are buying it)
- optional – freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping
- Stir together chicken stock, spinach, chicken, and beans in a large pot.
- Cook over medium heat until the soup reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Then reduce heat to medium, stir in the pesto, and let the soup continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Serve warm, topped with Parmesan cheese if desired (it tastes really good with this soup)!
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally created by Gimme Some Oven