This guest post is from our favorite ladies, Natalie and Holly, over at The Modern Proper. Their mission is to reinvent proper for the modern homemaker, one delicious meal at a time. Check out more of their delicious recipes here.
I find this time of year the hardest to make healthy choices when it comes to food. The gluttony of the holidays are over, but the adrenaline of New Year’s resolutions have long passed. It might be easier if the weather were a little warmer here in the Northwest, but we still are in the throes of winter and my body wants nothing to do with crispy salads and cold meats, and everything to do with warm carbs.
Combine these feelings with the busy rhythms of life, and I’m often left stumped with what to offer my family for dinner. I’m looking for comfort food, but healthy, easy, and flavorful remain high priorities. And if the meal can all be cooked in a single pot to save me from the chore of extensive dish duty, well that’s just my wildest dreams come true. Through many evenings of trial and error, I’ve come to the conclusion that this long list of must-haves is hard to come by, but fortunately for me (and for you) one of my favorite food categories always does the trick. You guessed it, soup!
Because I find soup so perfect for what ails me this time of year, I am constantly trying out new recipes to mix it up. This particular soup has quickly become a family favorite. Warm, lemony broth, chicken, white beans, and a hearty and healthy combination of winter vegetables (to make up for all the salads I’m not eating) make this dish simple, and full of the flavor I’m seeking, all while being a complete meal that only dirties one pot. You can easily sub out the veggies or spice level to whatever your family most enjoys, making this a truly versatile soup capable of shaking off those winter doldrums and comforting the weariest of souls, all without falling into the tempting trap of empty carbs and take-out.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, finely dice
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken stock
2 14oz cans of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups shredded chicken
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)
1 bunch Swiss chard or spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Parmesan for garnish (optional)
In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots, celery, jalapeño and bay leaf until vegetables are just tender. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add in chicken stock, white beans, chicken, salt and pepper and dill. Bring to a boil then reduce to a swimmer. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chard and lemon juice and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve garnished with dill and shaved Parmesan.