Ingredients:

• 2 tsp. plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1/2 cup carrot or diced red bell pepper
• 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 oz.), cut into quarters
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 1 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
• 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
• 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 3/4 cup plain or herbed croutons for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

1. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot (or bell pepper) and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 min.

2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

3. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor. Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.

4. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with croutons, if desired.