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Chicken and Green Bean Soup with Pesto

Serves 4-6

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 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 to 1/2 cup EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3/4 pound chicken tenders, chopped into small dice, 1/2-inch
  • 1 medium-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 of 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
PREPARATION

Combine herbs, nuts, garlic and grated cheese in food processor. While the machine is running, stream in EVOO, about 1/3 cup, to make a pesto. Scrape sauce into a small dish and reserve.

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns if the pan, over medium heat. Add chicken and lightly brown, 3-4 minutes. Add onions, celery, carrot, bell pepper and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and saut 4-5 minutes more. Add stock and/or water, and bring to a boil. Stir in green beans and pasta, and keep at a low boil until pasta is cooked to al dente.

Serve soup in shallow bowls and stir in rounded tablespoonfuls of pesto.

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