Hot Soup For An Autumn Day

CHICKEN AND WHITE BEAN SOUP

Cannellini beans, used in Tuscan recipes work beautifully in this rustic soup because they hold their shape after simmering in the broth. Serve with a crusty Italian bread, such as ciabatta, and a salad of bitter greens. Arugula is a wonderful Italian salad green with a peppery flavor. An Italian white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio is the perfect accompaniment on a cold autumn evening.
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
smoked bacon slices, chopped. Pancetta, Italian bacon will work as well
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped plum tomato
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (15-ounce) can organic white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Prep
1.  Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan; set bacon aside.
2.  Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add tomato, oregano, and pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return bacon and chicken to pan. Stir in 2 cups water and broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Add orzo, and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until heated. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, vinegar, and salt.

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