Hearty Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Total Time:
45 min
20 min
25 min

6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 whole sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 (3-inch) strips lemon zest, cut from 1 lemon
  • 1 small head fennel, thinly sliced (2 cups), fennel tops reserved
  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • A 2-3 inch piece Parmesan rind, optional
  • 2 carrots, sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups, whole-wheat extra-wide noodle style pasta, 2 3/4 ounces (recommended: Ronzoni Healthy Harvest) **recommend just using 2 3/4 -ounce weight
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus extra for passing
  • Lemon juice

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until the onions begin to soften, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, tie the parsley sprigs, lemon zest, and fennel tops together. Add the herb bundle, broth, 2 cups of water, and, if using, the cheese rind. Bring to a very gentle simmer and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones in large strips, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, add the sliced fennel, carrots, and celery to the broth and season with salt, to taste. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are just tender, 5 minutes. Stir in the noodles and cook until just al dente, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken, baby spinach, and Parmesan until the chicken is heated through and the spinach is wilted. Discard the herb bundle and cheese rind. Stir in lemon juice, to taste. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve with additional Parmesan for passing.

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Nutritional analysis per serving, 2 1/3 cups

Calories 261; Total Fat 6g (Sat Fat 1.5g, Mono Fat 3g, Poly Fat 1g); Protein 31g;

Carb 23g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 54mg; Sodium 402mg

This chicken soup is packed with zesty rich flavors and lots of good for you vegetables. By enhancing prepared low-sodium broth with lots of herbs and lemon and fresh chicken you get a soup that tastes like you simmered it all day long.

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4.7 27
Very good. I cooked the pasta on the side and added it to individual servings. I used less broth and no water. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best chicken soup ever! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious! Didn't have baby spinach so used fresh kale instead. Just needed to cook a little longer. Also didn't add fennel,wasn't available . Still so good! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This soup was so good and so healthy. I ate it for three days while recovering from a bad chest cold. It was very easy to make, I will definitely make this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband loves this soup, and it's easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't usually like the majority of soups, mainly because I only tend to like eating things with bold or spicy flavors. I am sick today, so what the heck. I'm also a beginner cook and this was a fairly easy recipe that thankfully I pulled off! So other than a few variations, I liked the flavors in the recipe - the fennel, lemon, chili flakes. Farfalle (bowtie pasta worked well for me with the texture/size of the veggies. I did add a nice bit of salt and only used the parm as a garnish. I let the soup sit for about a half hour before adding the spinach, parm, & separately cooked noodles. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome, I'll definitely make it again. I used boneless/skinless chicken thighs that cooked up perfectly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I thought it was bland. It needs salt and a lot of lemon item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was delicious! My family loved it, even my extremely picky 5 year old! Great way to get some healthy foods in the whole family! I did have to cook the chicken a lot longer than what was suggested. item not reviewed by moderator and published

This recipe is featured in:

Healthy Weeknight Dinners