Chicken and Green Bean Soup with Pesto
Warm your family with this wonderful pesto chicken soup!
- 1 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)
- 1/4 cup dill (a handful)
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted shelled pistachios or pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped and mashed into paste with a little salt or grated
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a generous handful)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 3/4 pound chicken tenders, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium to large onion, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 ribs celery from heart, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups chicken stock or 6 cups chicken stock, plus 2 cups water
- 2 cups frozen French-cut green beans
- 1 cup small cut pasta, such as small penne or ditalini
- Combine the herbs, nuts, garlic and grated cheese in a food processor. While the machine is running, stream in the EVOO, about 1/3 cup, to make a pesto. Scrape the sauce into a small dish and reserve.
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns if the pan, over medium heat. Add the chicken and lightly brown, 3-4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes more. Add the stock and/or water and bring to a boil. Stir in the green beans and pasta and keep at a low boil until the pasta is cooked to al dente.
- Serve the soup in shallow bowls and stir in rounded tablespoonfuls of pesto.