I got the idea for this simple chicken salsa white bean soup from a Weight Watchers friend. While chatting one day, I mentioned that I needed an idea for how to use up the remains of a recently purchased rotisserie chicken. She explained that she always made an easy soup with white beans and salsa from her leftover chicken. I jotted down the ingredients and immediately came home and stirred up a pot.
You won’t believe how deliciously satisfying this super simple soup is. It’s become a staple at our house, especially at this time of year, when quick and easy is the name of the game.
So, I decided it would be perfect this week as the recipe for our little group of bloggers working its way through Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients (by Martha Stewart and the editors of Whole Living Magazine), where the featured ingredient is dried beans.
With so many more expensive, exotic super foods taking up most of the limelight these days, it’s easy to forget that beans, one of the most basic, affordable, and widely available of foods, also provide myriad health benefits.
Health Benefits of Beans
Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Research suggests that eating beans regularly may decrease your risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and help with weight management, because they’re so filling you can eat less but still feel satisfied. A half-cup of beans has only about 100 calories.
Common varieties of beans include black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, white beans, soybeans (edamame), and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). You can soak and simmer dried varieties in a slow cooker all day or use canned beans, when time is short, which is what I tend to do most often.
Quick & Easy Chicken Salsa White Bean Soup
This quick & easy chicken salsa white bean soup is the kind of dish that barely qualifies as a recipe. Just stir together some chopped cooked chicken, chicken broth, salsa and a couple of cans of drained white beans and add chili powder and cumin to taste. I call this maximum reward for minimal effort. No peeling, chopping or dicing vegetables. And no sauteeing so calories are reduced. You can make it on the stove top or let it simmer in the slow cooker, whatever works best for you.
And this soup can be modified in lots of ways too: Use black beans instead of white. Or green salsa instead of red. Add a can of corn. Stir in some cilantro. For spicier soup, use hot salsa. Or keep it family-friendly with mild. The choice is yours. Feel free to have fun and experiment.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 12 ounces salsa (I used red, but green would be good too)
- 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- Garnish with cilantro, cheese, corn chips, etc., if desired
- Empty the salsa into a large saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, beans, broth, chili powder and cumin (if desired). Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Use a masher or immersion blender to mash up some of the soup and make it a little thicker if desired.
- Top each bowl with a sprinkling of green onions or cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and or some low -fat baked tortilla chips (if desired).
- (Makes about 8 cups of soup.)
Be sure to check out what these other participating bloggers have cooked up with dried beans. (If you are interested in joining us, contact Mireya at My Healthy Eating Habits. We’d love to have you join us.)
- Alyce - More Time at the Table
- Ansh - Spice Roots
- Jeanette - Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
- Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
- Chaya - My Sweet & Savory
- Minnie - The Lady 8 Home
- Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients
- The Health Benefits of Beans (Dr Oz)
More Weight Watchers Friendly Recipes Using Beans
- Favorite Skinny & Delicious Black Bean Soup Recipes
- Easy Baked Bean Soup
- Weight Watchers Friendly Tuna & White Bean Salad
- Healthy Tuscan Vegetable & White Bean Soup
- Skinny Black Bean Brownies
- Jamie Oliver Vegetable Soup with Beans
- Skinny Cheese and Black Bean Nachos