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
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
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.