Chicken and Cannellini soup is ideal for using up any leftovers you might have from your Sunday roast chicken dinner. Most of the ingredients are the sort of thing you have in your store cupboard, and it is quick to cook – ideal for a Monday night dinner.
It is also perfect at this time of year when the weather can be so changeable. When I originally bought the chicken to roast, it was a gorgeous 20C outside. By the time I came to make the soup and take the photographs, the weather had turned grey and rainy. Perfect soup weather, but not so great for photo taking!
As with all soups, the quality of the finished dish really rests on the stock you are using. Ideally of course, we would all be making our own stock from the chicken carcass. But let’s face it, there isn’t always time for that so I try and use a decent stock cube or concentrate. I’m using Knorr Stock Pots at the moment, they’re pretty good.
And it probably goes without saying that a few cubes of pancetta thrown in with the onions and garlic would be a delicious addition to this soup! Just check the seasoning carefully, as the pancetta would be salty.
Chicken and Cannellini soup (serves 4)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 tbsp plain flour *see note below
1.2 litres hot chicken stock
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 spring cabbage
200g shredded leftover chicken
Chopped parsley (optional)
Heat the oil over a low/medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook gently until softened – about 5 minutes.
Add the carrot and cook for another minute, then stir in the flour and turn the heat up to medium.
Add the beans and stock, and season with black pepper. Bring to a fast simmer and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and cut in half. Cut out the tough core, and shred the leaves thinly.
Add the shredded chicken and cabbage, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and check the seasoning. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving with crusty bread, topped with the chopped parsley if you like it.
Chicken and Cannillini soup can easily be prepared ahead of when you want to eat it – simply stop after the 10 minutes simmering time, cool quickly and refrigerate until needed. When you are ready to eat, heat the soup gently until it is at a fast simmer, then add the chicken and cabbage and continue with the rest of the recipe.
If you wanted to make this recipe gluten-free, simply omit the plain flour or use a gluten-free alternative. If you leave out the flour, the soup will be clearer than in these pictures.