I wanted something hearty and warm, but nothing with the thickness of traditional bean soups. A light clear flavorful broth, tender beans, moist chunks of chicken all flashed in my minds eye...so today I played with the ingredients I had on hand...
The recipe is my own
1 cup dried white beans
6 cups chicken stock or broth
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken cut into small chunks (I used breast meat)
2 cups water
3 cups fresh baby spinach, torn
1 Tbsp savory leaves (or a blend of thyme with a touch of sage and mint)
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the beans and cover with water. Allow to soak overnight in the fridge.
Rinse the beans and layer in a slow cooker with the broth and chicken. Cook in high for 4 hours, of low for 7.
Set the slow cooker to low and add the torn spinach and additional 2 cups of water. Allow to simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
It was mild, hearty and very filling...almost exactly what I had in mind! While I thought the savory was a great flavor, the bits of leaves were a nuisance to eat. I have the same issue with rosemary though. Perhaps a quick pulse in the spice grinder would take care to the problem. Ross made the unusual comment that the overall flavor reminded him of pizza toppings. But I think he has pizza on the mind.
Be forewarned...any attempt to recreate this will be different from my version as I often make my own stocks from whatever meaty carcass I have to dispose of. This particular stock was either from a chicken or a pheasant. My typical recipe consists of the bones of a roasted bird, a celery stalk, 1/4 onion, sage, thyme and parsley (or poultry seasoning...or bouquet garni...it really depends on my mood, and how I seasoned the original roasted bird) with enough water to cover and left to simmer for 2 hours, minimum.
This soup was made in the slow cooker, but the entire process could be sped up by using canned beans and the stove top.