Chicken and Vegetable Soup

One of the “side effects” of running long runs and having high mileage weeks is that your immune system becomes weak and you become susceptible to injury and/or illness. Of course, you want to make sure you’re getting the appropriate vitamins and nutrients through your meals and supplements, if necessary, but sometimes that can be difficult. *NOTE: I am not a nutritionist. If you are worried about your own nutrition, you should consult your physician!* One of the things I always turn to when I’m feeling weak, tired, or like I’m trying to come down with something is that old standby – chicken soup. Not only is it delicious (YUM!), it also warms you up and brings with it comforting memories of Mom (well, for me, anyway. Not sure who it reminds you of.) The only thing that would make it better is comfy PJs and fuzzy bunny slippers. What? I can blog in my PJs if I want! No judging! And hey, at least I’m not out shopping or something.

Anyway, chicken noodle soup can take hours to make and, unless it’s a Saturday or you’ve set up your crockpot in the morning, you probably don’t have hours to make a delicious, comforting bowl of soup. Me either. So, wehn I saw this recipe in Cooking Light under the Meals in 20 Minutes category, I just knew I had to try it. I’ve got a high mileage week this week and I seem to be surrounded by sick people at work so I figured I needed to make this sooner rather than later. So, dinner tonight is a comforting bowl of chicken soup with yummy vegetables and tiny orzo pasta. 🙂

So, if you’re feeling tired, run down, missing Mom (or Dad!) (or both!), or just want a bowl of yumminess, you don’t have to wait very long with this recipe. Just don’t forget your fuzzy bunny slippers!

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 thyme sprig

3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5 oz can no-salt-added, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta) or pastina (tiny star-shaped pasta)

5 oz green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)

1 cup shredded skinless, boneless, rotisserie chicken breast

2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through thyme) to pan; saute 4 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add pasta and beans; cook 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, and sprinkle with cheese. Discard thyme.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 4 teaspoons cheese)

Calories 257; Fat 7.3g (sat 2.5g, mono 3.5g, poly 0.6g); Protein 15.4g; Carb 32.8g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 25mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 552mg; Calcium 145mg

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