If you do have time to quickly roast a chicken or make a batch of stock, I've included links in the recipe itself to help guide you through. Happy soup-making!
Hearty Chicken Minestrone
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole-wheat pasta shells
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 bunch red Swiss chard, washed and sliced into large strips
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and chopped
1 medium zucchini, diced
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cups shredded cooked chicken, from a roast chicken
Salt and pepper
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the leek. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add can of tomatoes (with the juice) and allow it to cook down for about five minutes until the juice thickens. Add the bay leaf and chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil. Add pasta, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard, cabbage, zucchini and chickpeas and cook until the zucchini softens but still remains relatively crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the shredded chicken and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until the chicken is hot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.