I adapted this recipe from a book called Pure Poultry. I wanted a soup that was hearty, yet still felt fairly light. This really fit the bill. The pesto really adds to the flavor of the final dish, so I highly recommend using it. Serve with a loaf of italian bread to soak up the remaining broth. If you have homemade chicken stock, use it here- the flavor really comes through. When you are prepping your ingredients, remember to cut them in small pieces, so they will fit on your spoon.
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 onion, chopped into small dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 1⁄2 lb chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1⁄2 lb Italian sausage
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes, minced (use the oil packed variety)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 ounces orzo pasta (any small pasta shape will work)
- 8 tablespoons pesto sauce (optional)
- Defat the sausage- Place the sausages in a sauce pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and let boil for 5 minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, chop into small dice.
- Add the oil to a large pot, and heat over a medium flame until the oil is warm and fragrant. Add the onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken and sausage, and continue to cook, until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
- Add the carrots, celery, stock, beans, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme and remaining salt. Cover, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the pasta, simmer another 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
- To serve, ladle into warm soup bowls, and top with a tablespoon of pesto (if using).