This is the soup I often turn to when we are just about to turn to takeout.
Though I love to cook, there are nights that I simply don't want to (or can't) expend one brain cell thinking about what to make. Being somewhat picky about just what we eat, however, leaves our takeout options a bit limited... and that's where this soup comes in. (In all fairness to this little soup, it does get called up on real cooking nights as well).
Soups, in general, are forgiving in this manner. They are adaptable creatures... a perfect go-to when we are, perhaps, feeling not so adaptable.
Most soups start with some sort of sauté... even if it's simply just a bit of chopped onion and dried herbs... before any liquids are added. This starter base is what gets the flavor of the soup humming so it's an important (yet easy) step. As long as you give some thought to this... most anything can be dropped into the pot. Being that this particular night was a don't-want-to-think-about-cooking night, I followed my rote method with this soup... sautéing up some onion, carrot, and celery in a bit of olive oil, then adding a generous sprinkle of dried herbs (parsley, italian seasoning), salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the mix and letting it all kind of warm up together to pop the seasonings a bit. I had some chicken breasts in the freezer, so I defrosted those in the microwave while I continued on with my soup base... adding in some chicken stock, and a can of diced tomatoes. Everything added so far is always available in my fridge and pantry... which is one reason this is a great, quick, no-thought-necessary, go-to meal.
Once my chicken was defrosted enough to handle, I diced it up into small bite-size pieces (easiest to get cooked through quickly) and dropped it all into the pot to simmer away for about 25 minutes.... just until the chicken is cooked through and everything has had a nice chance to mix and mingle. Season with some additional salt and pepper, to taste, and drop in your beans and whatever fresh greens you've got available in your fridge. I often add chopped fresh spinach but had already run through it, so I just chopped up the half bag of mixed baby greens I had on hand and dropped it into the pot to simmer... just enough time for the greens to wilt a bit and the beans to warm through. That's it! It's great served up with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese (also always on hand) and a hot-out-of-the-oven french baguette to share.
This is the kind of soup that will make you happy you didn't turn to takeout... quick, simple, fresh, delicious... and no brain cells expended in the making!