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Low-fat Chicken Soup for the Mediterranean Soul

Ingredients

1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
1 medium yellow cooking onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup/250 mL)
1 medium sweet green pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup/175 mL)
1 (8-inch/20 cm) celery rib, sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons/10 mL garlic powder)
1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock, homemade or canned
2 cups (500 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) long-grain brown rice, rinsed and cooked before adding
1 whole bay leaf (remove after cooking)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) crumbled dried basil or
1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) dried oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) chopped fresh oregano)
6 medium fresh carrots, peeled and sliced one-half inch (1 cm) thick
1 (10 oz/300 mL) package frozen green beans
1 pound (500 mL) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced pitted black olives, for garnish (optional)

Directions

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, stock, water, cooked rice, basil, bay leaf and oregano. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add carrots and cook 5 minutes more.

Remove all visible fat from chicken and cut into three-quarter inch (2 cm) cubes. Add to pot, along with green beans. Cook, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Season to taste with black pepper. Remove bay leaf. Garnish with a sprinkling of olive slices, if desired. Serve with warm crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.

Low-fat Chicken Soup for the Mediterranean Soul

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