Aren’t soups and stews like a big hug in a bowl? I love as the weather starts to cool (not too much, Mother Nature, okay?) that I have a great excuse to cook up a big pot of stew. I just got back from Vegas where it was hot, hot, hot (more on the Vegas trip in a few days), and any time I return from a trip I want some type of comfort food. So this week I was drawn to making a soup, so I bring you Tomato Basil Chicken Stew.
There were a few qualifications this week to become my next recipe. I needed something quick, since I was gone most of the week, something that didn’t have to be eaten immediately (for any stragglers), and a dish that didn’t have tons of complex ingredients that would take a while to track down. That’s where Tomato Basil Chicken Stew starting checking all of the boxes.
This was a quick recipe to throw together. Since I don’t have easy access to rotisserie chicken, which is my favorite way to get shredded chicken fast, I had to cook my own. So that took the longest time but honestly it was WELL worth the effort. The flavor I got from cooking the chicken myself was fabulous. I use this technique where I brown the chicken on one side, flip it over, add water, cover and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. The browning gives great flavor and the steaming helps the chicken stay moist.
Once the prep work is done, the stew comes together quickly. Just cook up the veggies then add in tomatoes, cannelini beans, chicken, fresh spinach, basil, and seasonings. Then let it simmer for about 10 minutes and ta-da, you’re done! Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.
The soup also can hang out on the stove top when it’s done, which is great when you have people with different schedules around dinner time.
Let’s chat about flavor for a sec. I added some red pepper flakes (not a ton but enough to give a slight heat) that really enhanced the flavors. The soup was super comforting and healthy. And I’m proud that I didn’t throw in pasta (this time), although it would be fabulous with a little bit thrown in. The shredded chicken that had been browned on one side added its own flavor to balance out the sweet and tang from the tomatoes. And then the spinach gives great texture and that hint of basil isn’t overwhelming but is instead subtle.
This stew was a total hit. With every bite, it just got better and better, until that sad moment when the bowl was empty. Be sure to click here for the recipe and step by step instructions, for the next time you need a quick and healthy meal on the table. So good!