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Originally published Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:00 AM

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Recipe: White Bean, Chicken and Pesto Soup

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Serves eight

Note: Substitute any kind of canned bean or leftover meat, such as ham, pork or beef. The vinegar at the end of cooking heightens the flavor.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 rib celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cans (each 14 oz. to 19 oz.) cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (see Note, above)

3 cups shredded cooked chicken (see Note, above)

¼ cup pesto (store-bought or your own), divided

2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about six minutes. Add garlic, celery, carrot, oregano and cayenne; sauté for two minutes.

2. Stir in stock, salt and black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add beans, chicken, 2 tablespoons pesto, vinegar; heat until steaming, about five minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary.

3. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish each with a small dollop of remaining pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.

From “300 Sensational Soups,” by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

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