I stopped at the store one day on my way to work to pick up something for lunch. I was in the middle of my 21 Day Sugar Detox so picking something from the “quick fixings” deli counter was difficult. I’ve been really good about taking a lunch, but on this day I forgot and crossed my fingers hoping for something…anything that I could buy for lunch.
Perusing through the offerings, I was dismayed at all the added sugar in these “healthy and fresh” meals. It was really depressing. But, then I came across some white bean and chicken soup. Low and behold, there was NO sugar in the ingredients list. I was thrilled! Better yet, it was on sale for three bucks. Score.
That day at lunch, I was relatively happy with my low fat soup. It tasted good but it seemed, well…weak. It was light on the chicken and beans. I decided that I could probably make a better version.
And so I did.
It is important to note that I have NEVER made my own, from scratch, home made soup before. I’m just not a big soup eater so soup in general does not usually get me salivating. I have made a cauliflower soup before and I’m a big fan of chili…but never just a regular soup. This was going to be an adventure.
White Bean and Chicken Soup
- 6 cups chicken broth (I used home made stock)
- 2 cups water (approximate)
- 1-2 lb white beans
- 1 medium organic onion
- 5-7 strips bacon
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts but into cubes
- 1/2 Tbs Italian seasoning
- 5 bunches fresh chopped, organic spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
I started out with 4 cups of home made stock along with 2 cups of water covering 2 lbs of organic white beans and the chopped onion in my cast iron pot (Dutch oven). Bring your beans to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. I simmered my beans for about 2-3 hours until tender. While they were simmering, I had to add another 2 cups of stock since my beans had soaked them up.
Once beans are soft, it is time to add the rest of your ingredients. In a cast iron skillet, I sauteed my chopped bacon and garlic until crisp. Then add your cubed chicken and cook until just almost done. Add Italian seasoning and stir.
Add chicken to the beans.
Salt and pepper your soup to your liking. Add in your chopped spinach.
Simmer on very low for about one more hour or until your chicken is tender.
Towards the end, use a potato masher to mash SOME of your beans. You don’t want to mash them all up, but by mashing some, it will thicken up your soup without using any flour. If you like a thinner soup, don’t mash.
**Some Things to Note:
*I used too many beans. I did not realize how many beans I had since I had purchased in bulk and it wasn’t until after they were cooked that I realized 2 lbs of beans was probably too many. This made for a very hearty, chili like consistency…which I liked but some soup lovers may not want it so thick.
*If I had more bacon, I would have used it. Everything is better with lots of bacon!
*This soup was very good with some shredded Italian cheese on top.
*Bob thought my soup was “really, really, really good!” (no joke…he said it three times and it totally made my day) but I kinda felt like something was missing. Because I’ve never made soup, I’m not sure what would have been good added here. If you can put your finger on what might be missing I would love to hear it.
*This recipe does NOT follow the guidelines of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. It has way too many beans! I’m still learning the Paleo Diet way…eventually I’ll figure it out.