This soup has one of the tastiest broths I have ever had. It’s so simple to make and makes great use of canellini beans. To make it easier, you can use cubed chicken breast in place of the chicken thighs. BUT, I will warn you now that you won’t get the same richly flavored broth or tender meat. Using bone-in chicken thighs makes all the difference in the world, with any chicken based soup, really. Cooking the chicken thighs in the broth will give more chicken flavor and the bones will give the soup a really nice body because of the gelatin they impart. Chicken thighs are like gold to me!
- 6 Chicken Thighs, bone-in
- Water, as needed
- 1 T. Olive Oil
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 T. Garlic, minced
- 2 t. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
- 1 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes(do not drain!)
- 1 15 oz, can Canellini Beans(do not drain!)
- 1 c. Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
- 2 T. Italian Seasoned Tomato Paste
- Chicken Base, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 6 c. Baby Spinach leaves, washed
- 1/2 c. Shredded Parmesan
Place Chicken thighs in a crock pot and cover with water. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the crock pot and set aside to cool slightly. Strain the cooking water and place it back in the crock pot.
While the chicken cools, heat the olive oil in a saute pan. When it is hot, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and a little salt and pepper and saute for another minute. Add the onion mixture to the crock pot.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the bones and chop the meat into bite sized pieces. Add the chicken to the crock pot along with the beans, tomatoes, peppers, chicken base, and tomato paste. *Make sure that you add the liquid of the beans and tomatoes to the soup too! It will give it great flavor.
Let the soup cook on high for another 45-60 minutes. Check your seasonings and add more chicken base, salt, or pepper if needed. When ready to serve, add the spinach to the soup and stir in well, just until the spinach is barley wilted. Dish into bowls and top with a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan. This soup is great served with focaccia bread to soak up the broth!