Quick Chicken Minestrone

This recipe is taken from the 2004 Milk Calendar. A main course soup that is as satisfying and great tasting as it is nutritious. Covering all four food groups, this recipe is a complete meal in one.
- Christine Cushing

  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cooking: 25 min
Yields 4 - 6 servings
quick chicken minestrone


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 12 oz (360 g) boneless skinless chicken cut in 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic gloves minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (750 mL) Milk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) small pasta (shells, macaroni or bow ties)
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) fresh baby spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Canadian Parmesan cheese


In large saucepan, heat half of oil over medium heat; brown chicken in batches, adding more oil as necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Add remaining oil to pan; sauté carrots, celery, garlic, onion, basil and oregano for about 5 min or until softened.

Add tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits stuck to pan. Whisk flour into milk; gradually whisk into pan and return to boil, stirring often. Stir in pasta; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 8 min or until pasta is almost tender.

Add chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and beans; cook for about 5 min longer or until chicken is no longer pink inside and pasta is tender. Remove from heat and stir in spinach just until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


For the Adventurous: Add 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes with herbs, substitute chickpeas for the kidney beans and top each bowl with a slice of bread topped with shredded Canadian Provolone cheese and broil.

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Nutritional Information

per serving
Energy: 370 Calories
Protein: 24 g
Carbohydrate: 45 g
Fat: 11 g
Fibre: 7.7 g
Sodium: 506 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 23 % / 254 mg
Vitamin A: 65 %
Folate: 63 %
Niacin: 46 %
Magnesium: 38 %