I’m not really quite sure how to say this, so I’m just gonna run with it.

Spring Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

I actually wanted to eat asparagus. For the first time ever, I wanted to taste something green and stem-like with little weird cowlicks at the top.

That’s a lot of vegetables up there, in case you didn’t notice.

Spring Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

I wanted this asparagus in soup. I had visions of it’s pointy little heads swimming in broth, drizzled with olive oil and blanketed with parmesan cheese. I didn’t want to eat it in the way that you want to eat green stuff because it’s May and sandy summer shores are quickly approaching and it would be waaay too hot to trample the beach in old college sweatpants. Not sexy.


I wanted it because I thought it sounded good.



Spring Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

So I chopped some onions and some mushrooms and even carrots and the asparagus and got some chicken and cute, tiny noodles and lots of cheese.

And I sauteed most of that stuff in bacon grease. Oh yeah… there’s that.

See? Always a silver lining here.


It was delicious. It warmed my soul, which was definitely needed since it’s been raining here since I was born. It didn’t make me want to toss my cookies. I added beans. Chubby, soft white beans. And lime. Sound weird? It’s not. It’s mandatory. Itty, bitty adorable noodles too. And pecorino romano? Please. Like you even need to ask.

Spring Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

This soup was light, refreshing and hearty all at the same time. It was a little smoky and a little bright; it had a touch of savory cheesiness and a pop of cilantro. Cilantro not your thing? Add some basil. Or parsley. Or tarragon. And you can skip that whole bacon thing but I’m telling you, it makes the soup. And just so you know, if that happens we may have to have words later.

Spring Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

Spring Chicken Soup

serves 4-6 +

2 slices of bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 cloves of garlic, minced

4 cups raw spinach

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

12 asparagus spears, chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

6 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 1/4 cups ditalini pasta (or another short/small pasta)

the zest of half a lime

1/3 cup parmesan or romano cheese, grated

for garnish: fresh cilantro, grated romano cheese, avocado, green onions, fresh baguette slices or croutons

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add chopped bacon. Cook under fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, then remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Add onions and mushrooms to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in garlic, carrots and asparagus and cook for 5 minutes more. Add in salt, pepper and spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add in shredded chicken, beans, and chicken broth. Pour in pasta and bring soup to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in lime zest and cheese.

Serve hot with additional cheese, avocado, lots of cilantro and green onions. Add a toasted baguette on the side.

Note: feel free to add additional stock/water if desired. This recipe produces a soup with just a little broth; if you prefer more, add an additional 2 cups or so.

Spring Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

P.S. I have a cheese problem.  But I don’t think it’s apparent or anything.

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82 Responses to “Spring Chicken Soup.”

  1. #
    Jenn L @ Peas & Crayons — May 18, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

    I have a cheese problem too!

    OMG girl veggies!? i’m so flipping proud of you! <3 this looks AWESOME!


  2. #
    Rachel Wilkerson — May 18, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    I’m legit pissed I don’t have all these ingredients in the fridge and I’m too hungry to go back out for them. DAMNIT JESSICA. I WANT THIS SOUP TONIGHT.


    • Jessica — May 18th, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

      If I could, I’d gladly bring it to your door!


  3. #
    Nicki — May 18, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    Uhm… wow wow wow. This is making my mouth water. I must buy more asparagus. Pronto.


  4. #
    Christine — May 18, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

    Love your dishes (crockery? Is that the right term?).


    • Jessica — May 18th, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

      Thanks! :)


  5. #
    Andrea — May 18, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    So proud of you. :)


  6. #
    Cookin' Canuck — May 18, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

    This is full of sorts of goodness. It’s perfect for those spring nights that are still on the cooler side.


  7. #
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — May 18, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    You’re craving veggies! You go girl :)


  8. #
    Lucy @ Lucy eats — May 19, 2011 @ 6:50 am

    Yum! My boyfriend and I love soup. He, however, isn’t a fan of asparagus -maybe I could see if I could hide it *hehe*


  9. #
    Jonathan — May 19, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    That only looks like THE BEST CHICKEN SOUP EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is it weird that the ingredient of the month on my website is Cilantro, too?????

    The one thing that would be dynamite to add to this soup is Grilled Corn sliced off the cob. It would add such a sweetness, but continue the smoky undertones described in the recipe!!!!!

    GREAT WEBSITE!!!! I love getting these emails……

    ~ Jonathan



  10. #
    Andrea @ From the Bookshelf — May 19, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    This soup looks absolutely delicious! I love the idea of the asparagus.


  11. #
    Ada Ortiz — May 19, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

    Looks good! And by the way, I too love cheese…. a lot…I love cheese so much that I work for a cheese company! Lol!!! ;)


    • Beth — January 30th, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

      Where did you get those gorgeous dishes?


  12. #
    Silvia Whalley — May 22, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    I highly recommend this recipe, as it is just wonderful! Me and my husband had a little late night yesterday and it was the perfect remedy for the hang over. Easy, veggie packed and simply delicious!


  13. #
    megan — June 8, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    What a wonderful looking soup. I love pic #4. :)


  14. #
    R.S.S. — June 10, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    My favorite chicken soup recipe:


    I skip the shredding and straining but I remove the onion before the last step. Turns out there is absolutely nothing wrong with having chicken bones in chicken soup.

    This soup is even better the second day from the fridge and even much better the third day if you can believe that.



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