Dec 3, 2013

southwestern chicken and cannellini bean soup

Last night we had another dinner that Riley added to the "make again" list.  I haven't been finding much motivation for cooking lately, and this soup recipe really couldn't have been any easier.  But first, there's something important I'd really like to discuss.  

Canned meat.  

Yay or nay? There are opposing viewpoints on this matter in our boat-hold. Riley loves it, and was known to throw a can of Spam in our grocery cart even at home. I shudder at the thought of it. Oddly enough, there wasn't a can of it to be found on the boat last night, so it didn't get it's rightful place in the picture. Picky and snobbish eater that I am, I always lumped any canned meat in the same category as whatever Spam is. I mean, I grew up with the occasional tuna fish sandwich, but anything else in a can just seemed… wrong. Then, I found myself living on a boat and willingly tossing a can of chicken in my grocery cart. Really, I'm growing by leaps and bounds here. Okay, maybe I was a little nervous to open the can (who knows what it might look like in there), but as it turns out, canned chicken tastes pretty darn normal in soup. And, it's easy.

Southwestern Chicken and Cannellini Bean Soup

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
Olive oil
2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup green salsa
sour cream (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and taco seasoning and sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Add broth.
2. Mash most of the beans and then add to pan.  Add salsa and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Top with cilantro and sour cream.

Cooking on a boat has me looking for the most possible shortcuts to a tasty dinner, and while I'd still probably choose to buy chicken breasts at home, I can now see why canned chicken has it's place.  I can't say that eating canned anything really feels as healthy as the fresh option.  But practical, it is.  I still refuse to touch Spam or canned ham though, for the record.  

So, I'm really curious… where do you stand on canned meat?  How about Spam?  It seems to be a love it or hate it kind of thing.

I'm linking up with Jessica and Ashley today!


  1. So blown away at your skills of finding ways to still make such yummy eats while on a boat!

  2. Yum!

    I have a serious dislike of Spam and Vienna sausages and the cooked ham variety above. But I don't mind tuna or chicken out of a can. I mean, I don't want to eat them every day, but they're fine in a pinch. I can definitely see where the canned variety is much more convenient for you on the boat.


    1. I agree completely. I should probably at least admit that I decided I didn't like Spam or canned ham without even trying them first, though. ;)

  3. This looks and sounds SO good! I've used canned chicken once or twice when I was too lazy to cook the chicken, ha. And I'm with you - no spam or ham in my future!

  4. i've never been brave enough to eat canned meat, but that just might change with all the camping trips that we have planned. this soup looks perfect for the minneapolis winter that is coming so quickly!!

    1. It's amazing what you're willing to try when you start getting desperate! ;) I'd say that it would definitely be handy to have on camping trips!

  5. I'm with adesertgirl, totally against spam, vienna sausages....make me shudder. Riley and dad used to eat them all the time when they'd go out on Man Trips, but I NEVER ate them.
    I could bring myself to tuna and chicken though, esp if I was on a boat!! I've made tuna casserole--an updated version by Martha Stewart that has artichoke hearts and and Parmesan etc--and it was the packet tuna. I think the canned chicken is perfect for your situation!
    But please, don't let Riley talk you into another canned meat! :)

    1. I've never actually tried tuna casserole before! Do you really think he could? ;) I can be pretty stubborn about my food.

  6. I really can't do canned meat. I was a vegetarian for three years and am so skeptical of the meat industry anyway. But your soup looks delicious! You photography is great!

  7. Hmmmm...the canned meat debacle. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I've never tried it but your soup is convincing me I should.

    1. Haha, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it either. But it definitely is quick and easy when you're working with a limited kitchen!


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