Hearty minestrone soup with chicken. Packed with vegetables, herbs and beans this is on constant rotation in my house for healthy lunch prep.
Who doesn’t love a good soup? During the winter months I love a thick creamy soup like Red Lentil with Bacon or Cream of Vegetable. But as spring rolls around I love a brothy soup like Minestrone which allows you to taste every ingredient.
Why You Will Love This Soup
- Healthy – filled with vegetables, beans and chicken, minestrone soup has plenty of nutrients, lean protein and fibre.
- Satisfying – like any soup recipe, chicken minestrone is warm and comforting yet still feels light and fresh.
- Budget Friendly – made with pantry staples like tinned beans and tomatoes, plus garlic and onions. You can swap out the other vegetables for whatever you have to hand. Soup is also a great way to use fresh ingredients slightly past their best.
- Perfect for Leftovers – instead of fresh chicken, use shredded chicken or turkey leftover from a roast or other meals in chicken soup.
- Lunch Prep – I love making a big batch of tasty minestrone soup with chicken at the start of the week for quick and healthy lunches.
Pasta in Soup
You can cook the pasta in the soup but this really only works if you are planning to serve the whole dish immediately. Otherwise the pasta will overcook and become stodgy and soft.
I always cook the pasta separately, rinse it well under cold water and toss with a little olive oil before storing in the fridge until ready to serve. Add the pasta to the hot soup and stir for a minute to warm through. It may be an extra step but it doesn’t add any extra time – the pasta will cook while the soup is simmering.
Cooked pasta will keep covered in the fridge for 3 days.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- I typically use chicken breast in my minestrone soup but you can also use chicken thighs. This soup is also a great way to use up leftover roast chicken or turkey.
- Swap out the pasta for an additional can of beans to reduce the carb content or make gluten free minestrone.
- Vegetable stock or low sodium stock can be substituted for the chicken stock. This is a great recipe to use homemade chicken stock or broth.
- My preferred pasta for minestrone is elbow macaroni but you can use any small shape like Ditalini*, orzo or pasta stars.
- Add different vegetables – this minestrone soup is a great way to use up what you have or what is in season. Sliced peppers, courgettes and green beans all make excellent additions.
- Change the beans – I like a mix of kidney and haricot beans but you can use just one type. Any type of white beans work well. You can also use chickpeas or garbanzo beans, pinto or black beans.
- Parmesan Cheese Rind – an optional ingredient but one I really recommend. The rind helps to thicken up the broth and adds a deliciously savory flavour to the soup. You can fish whatever is left of the rind when the soup is done, or use a spoon to break it up into little chunks to disperse. When I finish a block of parmesan or pecorino cheese I wrap and freeze the rind until I’m making soup.
Serving and Storing
I love my minestrone soup best served with some fresh buttered bread to soak up the tasty broth.
Crisp croutons or crackers also go well with chicken minestrone.
Finely grated parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh parsley are the best toppings for chicken minestrone soup. A drizzle of pesto or herb oil are also very tasty garnishes and chill flakes add a lovely kick.
Store leftover chicken soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To freeze chicken minestrone, allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
Reheat chicken minestrone on the hob or in the microwave. Make sure the soup is piping hot before serving.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
More Soup Recipes:
- Easy Tomato, Red Pepper and Mascarpone Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Harissa Soup
- Cream of Vegetable Soup
- Red Lentil Soup with Bacon
Chicken Minestrone Soup
- Dutch oven or large saucepan
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping Board
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion diced
- 3 celery stalks sliced
- 3 carrots diced
- 5 garlic cloves diced
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs thyme or 1tsp dried thyme
- 400 gram can kidney beans drained
- 400 gram can haricot or cannellini beans drained
- 400 gram can chopped tomatoes
- 150 g pasta a small shape like macaroni
- 1 chicken breast
- 1.5 litres chicken stock
- Parmesan rind optional
- Fresh parsley to serve
- Parmesan to serve
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Stir in the garlic, rosemary and oregano and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes until you can smell the garlic cooking.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stock and stir well.
- Add the chicken breast to the pot (make sure it is fully covered by liquid) along with the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and parmesan rind if using.
- Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water then toss with a little olive oil to stop it sticking together.
- When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pot. Add the beans to the soup and stir well. Allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes while you shred the chicken.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken (you can also use a stand mixer if you have one – on low for 15-30 seconds should do the tick). Add the chicken back into the sop and stir well.
- Season the soup to taste, remove the parmesan rind, bay and thyme.
- Stir in the pasta to serve and sprinkle with a topping of grated parmesan and chopped parsley.
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