Mom knew best if she gave you chicken soup for a cold when you were a kid. Research suggests that chicken soup contains ingredients with beneficial medicinal value, including an anti-inflammatory mechanism that could help ease cold symptoms such as a stuffy nose, a sore throat and phlegm.
Luckily, you don’t have to feel under the weather to enjoy this easy chicken and white bean soup recipe. Originally from the American Cancer Society’s The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook, the recipe has been adapted by Ursula Ridens, a registered dietitian at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.
“This super simple meal won me over,” says Ridens. “I love kicking up recipes with added veggies, herbs, spices and whole grains. Not only do they add great flavor, but you get the bonus of boosting anti-inflammatory benefits.”
Ridens used canned chicken to simplify, and changed it up by adding garlic, rosemary, cilantro, avocado, snow peas, bulgur wheat and Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. The result is instant comfort in a bowl.
Chicken and White Bean Soup
From prep to pour, this hearty soup is ready in an hour or less.
Yields 6 to 8 servings
10 ounces cooked chicken breast
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 brown onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups snow peas
1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat (cook according to package directions)
Cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish (optional)
Avocado, sliced, to garnish (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
In a large stockpot over medium, heat oil. Sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened.
Add water, chicken broth, rosemary and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to combine. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add beans, chicken and snow peas; cover and cook for 5 more minutes or until snow peas are desired tenderness. If the soup is too thick, add additional broth or water.
Optional: Season with salt and pepper. Divide bulgur wheat into bowls. Serve soup over bulgur wheat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and avocado slices.
To learn more about Sharp's Nutrition Education and Counseling Program or to schedule an appointment, please call the Sharp HealthCare Outpatient Nutrition Counseling Program at 619-740-4632.