Awesome Weeknight Minestrone Soup with Chicken

With just a few simple steps to build flavor, you can dazzle everyone without a good stew flavor taking all day.

Serves 6 / 40 minutes cook time


Ingredients:

1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into big strips evenly sized
¼ large white onion diced
½ large russet potato diced
2 carrots diced
1 large celery stalk diced
1 15 oz. can petit diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans
4 C water with 2 Knorr beef bouillon cubes dissolved
3 T tomato paste
½ C uncooked Ditalini pasta
1 t paprika
1 ½ t dried oregano
1/3 C chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 C chopped fresh basil plus one big sprig
Parmesan cheese to garnish
3-4 T good olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste (see METHOD for guide to seasoning and when)


Method:

  • In a large Dutch oven heat 2 T of the oil to shimmering and add the chicken pieces. Sear on each side until about 80% done. You want the caramelization of the chicken to help season the broth. Remove and cover.
    Add more oil to the pot, about 1 T or more if needed. Don’t worry about the brown spots. They’ll come up when you deglaze with the beef broth. Now add the onion, potato, celery and carrot. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minute or so. Season with about 2 t salt and 1 t black pepper. Now add about 1 C of the beef broth and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to get all the bits into the liquid. Cook for about 2 minutes. Now add the tomato paste and stir, the paprika, oregano, the 3 cans of ingredients liquid and all, and stir. Let it get hot and reach a low boil. Now add the rest of the beef broth and let simmer at a low boil for about 10 minutes covered with the lid askew. After 10 minutes add the ½ C of pasta, stir and let bubble on medium low with the lid again partially covering, bubbling for about 15 minutes or until pasta is done. Now add the sprig of basil and about half the parsley. Let cook on medium low for another 2 minutes to season the soup. Remove the basil.
  • While the soup is cooking, shred or chop the chicken breasts and set aside. When done, ladle the soup into bowls. Add the chicken on top, sprinkle with more fresh chopped basil, and a little parmesan cheese. SERVE!



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