Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chicken and White Bean Soup

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 today I played with the ingredients I had on hand...

The recipe is my own

serves 6

The Ingredients:
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

The Process:
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.

The Review:
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 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.


  1. Sam,
    I always soak my beans ... ( remember Ted used to make chili for a living )...
    but why in the fridge? I have always just left them on the stove top overnight.

    this receipe sounds delicious.

    As for the leaves of Savory and (Rosemary)try making a Bouquet either tying the fresh leaves together, or wrapping in a single layer of cheese cloth and then remove before serving, or in this case, just leave in the pot while dishing up servings.

  2. The beans really needn't be placed in the fridge. Just habit, I suppose.