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Poor Man’s Chicken, Canellini Bean and Tomato Soup Recipe

Updated on February 3, 2012

Fresh is best, but creative canned is pretty good!

Title: Canned Goods ~ License: MorgueFile License ~ Photographer: SideshowMom
Title: Canned Goods ~ License: MorgueFile License ~ Photographer: SideshowMom

If you must cook with canned goods, why not make the best of it?

This is a recipe I discovered/adapted when searching bare cupboards and lots of cookbooks for something to eat. I had a can of chicken, a can of navy beans, a can of tomatoes, olive oil and a complete collection of spices. While cooking with canned goods is not something I exactly recommend, it is something I am obliged to do from time to time, so why not make the best of it?

One of my cookbooks is PIZZERIA, which has quite a few really excellent recipes, including a wonderful, from-scratch recipe for White Beans in Tomato-Sage Sauce. To do this right, you cook everything fresh from scratch, and it’s fabulous. To do it with almost empty cupboards and a little creativity, here’s what you do!

You’ll Need

  • A 2 quart soup pot
  • 1 - 10 oz can of chicken
  • 1 - 16 oz can of white beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Italian Style stewed tomatoes (or whatever kind you have!)
  • A generous dollop of olive oil
  • A tbsp of bottled, chopped garlic or ½ tbsp of garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp of dried sage or rosemary
  • A shake of red pepper
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Place the pot over low to medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and let them warm while you open cans and gather your spices. Add the tomatoes, beans & chicken (in that order). Don’t stir. Just raise the heat to medium high and wait for these ingredients to begin to boil. Then add the spices, but don’t add the parmesan cheese. Stir gently and lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 5 - 8 minutes.

While this is simmering, if you have some French Bread or other good bread, cut a few slices and toast them. To make some dipping oil, put about an 8th of a cup of olive oil in a small glass bowl with a pinch of garlic powder, a pinch of Italian seasoning or plain oregano, and a shake of black pepper. Set this in a bowl of hot water to warm.

By now, your soup and toast should be ready, so go ahead and serve them and get whatever you want to drink. Add parmesan cheese to your soup if you like. Now your dipping oil should be warm, so you are ready to enjoy your soup and toasted bread dipped in olive oil without feeling sorry for yourself because you're eating canned food!

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:February 3, 2012

Is it OK to eat canned goods?

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Submit a Comment

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! Yes, this is really an easy recipe that tastes like you went to some trouble. The kind of thing you could serve to unexpected company, and it's easy to keep all the ingredients on hand! :)

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    6 years ago

    I should not have read your hub right before lunch. Now I am wanting some beans and ham soup! Great suggestion with the french bread and dipping sauce. This would make the meal complete with little effort. I voted on your use of canned goods and the majority voted "sometimes" which was my vote. As a norm, I try to eat natural organic whole raw foods but sometimes you just have to use some canned goods to enhance the flavor. Great recipe!

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! I avoid eating canned food as much as possible, but it's still wise to keep a good supply of it in the cupboard. It beats the hell out of nothing! :D

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks Rochelle! I actually do have a few and hope to be devoting more time to my own writing now. I've been busy with some (directly) paid jobs recently! :D

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 

    6 years ago from California Gold Country

    This is one that sounds great for the "emergency cupboard" , and other times too. (Printed for my file). Got any more like this?

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, all! I'm glad you liked this recipe! Puter_dr - I wouldn't put this in a crock pot. Everything is already fully cooked. It just needs to be brought to a boil and simmered for a short time for safety's sake and to infuse the spices. It is actually better having been refrigerated overnight, though. This gives the spices a chance to really add flavor without excessive cooking.

  • robie2 profile image

    Roberta Kyle 

    6 years ago from Central New Jersey

    This sounds like the perfect easy and cheap dinner for one when I'm tired and cranky and also hungry. I'm bookmarking this baby and definitely voting it up.

  • puter_dr profile image

    Mike Bouska 

    6 years ago from Midwest USA

    Funny, I made something similar to this the other day, just slightly different spices, and I tossed mine in a crock pot.

  • iruvanti profile image


    6 years ago from U.S.A

    This sounds delicious and easy to make.

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

    Sondra Rochelle 

    6 years ago from USA

    This is a great recipe and would be perfect for RV cooking. Thanks!


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