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Easy Chicken Soup with a Leafy Twist Recipe

Try Chicken Soup with Beet Greens to Stay Warm on Frosty Days

On cold days, there’s nothing better than a large, hot bowl of chicken soup to thaw your bones and steam your face. I have a great twist on chicken soup that helps you use left over chicken and the tops of beets. Instead of cranking open a lackluster can of chicken soup or spending hours cooking a pot of soup on the stove, just follow these easy steps to make a flavorful chicken soup that will leave you satisfied.

This is a easy and fast soup to make with chicken, beet greens and garbanzo beans. Photo by Christine Willmsen

This is an easy and fast soup to make with chicken, beet greens and garbanzo beans. Photo by Christine Willmsen

As a single person I often have leftover chicken from another meal that I want to use in another dish, and this soup makes use of all those extras in the kitchen. The twist in this soup is adding beet leaves. And when I pulled some of my beets out of the garden recently, I knew I wanted to some how create a recipe that used those colorful green and red tops.

Many people buy their beets, cut off the tops, and roast the red jewels in the oven. But don’t dump the leafy tops in the compost.  They contain valuable nutrients and are perfect for this chicken soup. If you don’t have beet tops, you can use rainbow chard or spinach as a substitute. This soup will make enough for dinner and then lunch the next day. With chicken and garbanzo beans this is a protein-packed soup that’s filling despite it not having noodles or dumplings.

Hot In The Kitchen: Chicken Soup with a Leafy Twist

Don't throw away the tops of beets. I use been greens from my garden to add flavor to soups. Photo by Christine Willmsen

Don’t throw away the tops of beets. I use beet greens from my garden to add flavor to soups. Photo by Christine Willmsen


1 chicken breast cut in large chunks or ¼ of chicken that’s leftover

½ onion chopped

2 cans vegetable or chicken stock

1 tomato chopped

1 can garbanzo beans

2 cups beet greens, thickly sliced, without the thick stems

3 tablespoons of minced cilantro

1 teaspoon of both salt and pepper

Optional: slices of avocado, lime slice and hot sauce

Cook chicken and onion in saucepan with stock, salt and pepper on medium low heat until tender or falling off the bones, about 30 minutes.  Then add tomato, garbanzo beans and beet greens to soup and cook on low for another 8-10 minutes. Top the soup with cilantro, sprinkles of sea salt and slices of avocado. If available squeeze a slice of lime on top to give the soup a bright flavor. If you like a little heat, feel free to add a couple drops of hot sauce.

For other great chicken soups recipes see Foodista’s recent story.



Quick Pasta Dinner for Bachelors

Bachelors – tune into this easy and fast pasta dinner

The Solo Cook blog is for men too.  Hey, bachelors I know there are nights when cooking seems more like a chore than something to enjoy. But trust me, cooking for yourself is fun.

This blog is for anyone who wants to cook for himself or herself. You also don’t have to be “single” to try these recipes and swing by the “hot spot” restaurants that I recommend.

If you are dating someone, but have to fend for yourself because you aren’t shacking up – this is the recipe for you.

If your partner or roommate is traveling out-of-town and the kitchen seems as foreign as a faraway country – this is the recipe for you.

If you are single and want a dinner that will be ready within minutes – this is the recipe for you.

Boil, Chop and Sauté – It’s that easy

The first order of business when you get home from work is to fill a pot with water and put it on high heat so that it will boil soon. And before you take off that tie or dress, pour yourself a drink. It doesn’t take much for me to get in the mood to cook. A glass of wine and some funky music playing in the background always gets me into a food vibe. And if you are into a non-alcoholic drink – grab a sparkling water and squeeze or slice some fresh fruit into the glass.

Next chop up all your ingredients – garlic, mushrooms and zucchini. Yep, that’s the only three ingredients that you have to cut. You can use any vegetable you want, like broccoli or Swiss chard. I used the green leafy tops of beets from the garden to make this pasta dish.  And if you are like me and you crave protein – don’t be afraid to add shrimp or chicken if it’s in the refrigerator. The key to this dish is that it’s easy and fast.

Bachelor’s Pasta Dinner

1/4 bag of capellini also known as angel hair pasta – that’s about 4 ounces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

4 garlic cloves minced (best if you have a garlic press – which is a total time saver)

2 cups sliced mushrooms (any variety)

1 cup thickly sliced zucchini

2 tablespoons white wine (if available)

½ cup shredded Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Heat oil and butter in sauté pan on medium high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, white wine, salt and pepper, and cook for several minutes or until liquid evaporates. Put angel hair pasta in salted, boiling water for five minutes. Add zucchini or vegetable of choice, to the sauté pan and cook until zucchini starts to brown, then sprinkle Parmesan on top. Drain pasta, and drizzle with olive oil to prevent it from sticking.  Add the sautéed vegetables to a mound of pasta on your plate and enjoy.