Friday, September 26, 2008

chicken & white bean soup

I'm sure by now you've figured out that Fitness magazine is one of my favorite reads. Today's recipe is one reason why. Rocco DiSpirito's Chicken & White Bean Soup With Spinach & Parmesan is super simple, sounds super yummy and is even super healthy. (I would have included a link but I couldn't find the recipe on Fitness' site.)

With the few rainy days we've had, cold weather will be here soon and soups are one of my favorite meals to serve. Try today's food for thought friday recipe accompanied with your favorite Caesar salad and focaccia bread. (I've included my favorite focaccia bread recipe below.) Soup's on!

Chicken & White Bean Soup With Spinach Parmesan
3 14-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cips plus 3 T tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
salt and pepper
6 ounces prewashed baby spinach
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
3/4 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a Dutch oven, bring chicken broth, pasta sauce, cannellini beans and crushed red pepper to a simmer. Turn heat to low. Season chicken with salt and pepper; add to broth. Gently poach chicken, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. (The broth should barely simmer.) Stir in baby spinach. Continue cooking soup until spinach is wilted and chicken is just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Stir in basil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated cheese.

Emily's Favorite Focaccia
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 T active dry yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 T vegetable oil
1 c water
2 T olive oil
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 c mozzarella

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. (Option: I do the dough part in my bread machine. Add the ingredients in the order listed by your machine and set on the dough cycle. It will rise longer than the recipe calls for but still turns out great! Follow the rest of the recipe to bake it.)
Worries go down better with soup. --Jewish Proverb

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