Soup’s On: Chicken Pesto Harvest Soup

Mmmmm…I’ve been enjoying this all week

Chances are you have the majority of these ingredients on hand.  Chances are I’m the luckiest cook in town because this calls for pesto and my dad makes the best pesto so I have lots in the freezer.

Give this recipe a try and you’ll have a pot of nutritious goodness on hand for a few meals.

QAG even liked this- thought he picked out the tomatoes.  OK, more for me!

Chicken Pesto Harvest Soup

Ingredients:
1 package Perdue Fit & Easy Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1, 14 oz can drained, rinsed red kidney beans
1, 32 oz container of vegetable or chicken broth
1, 28 oz container Dei Fratelli diced tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons pesto
4-6 hand-fulls of spinach
Garlic salt and pepper to taste

Process:
1.  Spray a soup pot with cooking spray and heat.
2.  Add chicken and cook, adding Italian Seasoning, garlic salt and pepper.
3.  Add onion and cook until browned.
4.  Add beans, broth, tomatoes.  Stir and let boil.
5.  Turn down the heat and stir in the pesto and spinach.
6.  Cook until spinach is slightly wilted but still bright green.
7.  Serve and enjoy!

Note:  You could use thin chicken breasts instead of the tenderloin pieces but I find the tenderloin pieces great for adding to soup.  I used vegetable broth (local grocery store generic brand).  I also recommend using the Dei Fratelli tomatoes – their products are very flavorful!

The pesto really makes this dish!  It adds a lot of flavor.  I keep telling my dad he should set up a road-side or farmers market stand to sell his pesto!!  Until then, if I ever meet you in person, remind me and I’ll give you a container.

What’s your favorite soup?  (Links welcome!)
Does a family member have a signature sauce/dish that you think is the best?

Hot & Fresh–Calzones

What do you make when you have all the fixings for pizza but want something other than a standard pizza?

Calzones!  Fast, fresh, and easy.  Possibilities are endless.

Calzones

Ingredients
Refrigerated pizza crust (I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat)
Sauce of your choice (pizza, pesto, salsa, etc.)
Fixings (meat, veggies, cheese)
Fresh herbs (basil, oregano)
Olive oil

Process
1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees; spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2.  Roll out dough into 4 thin ovals/circles.
3.  Spread sauce, sprinkle herbs, add ingredients.
4.  Fold together ends to make a pocket; pinch ends together.
5.  Place on the cookie sheet.
6.  Cut a few slits/air vents in the calzone.
7.  Lightly brush the top of each calzone with olive oil.
8.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Sauce, basil, pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, cheese

A little trick to add extra protein–I mixed a small amount of cottage cheese into the pizza sauce.

 

Hot out of the oven. Sauce, turkey, mushrooms, basil, spinach, cheese.

My dad makes tasty home-made pizza and focaccia bread and uses the Dei Fratelli pizza sauce.  I found it at my local grocery store, stocked up, and used it in the calzones.  Wow – this is fresh and flavorful sauce!  I’m going to be on the hunt for more of their products.

Best sauce!

And this cooking post wouldn’t be complete without a cameo from my favorite kitchen helper who was on high alert in front of the oven.

Kitchen helper

I hope you’ll try making calzones–these are certainly going to be added to my regular kitchen repertoire!