Chicken and Garbanzo Soup

(Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry garbanzo beans
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 ½ cups sliced carrots
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices, or 1 1/2 cups sliced celery              Chicken-garbanzo-beansoup
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded fresh spinach

Method:

  1. Rinse the garbanzo beans; place in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or place beans in water in a large saucepan. Cover and let soak in a cool place overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.

  2. Rinse chicken. Place chicken and beans in a 3 1/2-, 4-, or 5-quart crockery cooker. Add carrots, fennel or celery, onion, dried marjoram and thyme (if using), bouillon granules, salt, and pepper. Pour water over all.

  3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Remove the chicken; cool slightly. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Return to cooker. Add the spinach or escarole and, if using, the fresh marjoram and thyme. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

  4. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

(Contributed by inChefs Nutritionist, Chaitali Rede)