Hughes' tomato basil soup ready in just 15 minutes

-A A +A
By Greg Summers

Chef and cookbook author Nancy Hughes’ Tomato Basil Soup with Chicken is a bowl of comfort at its best.

“Everybody loves soup, but it takes a long time and cooks away all the nutrients,” said Hughes, author of “15-Minute Diabetic Meals.”   

Hughes said the soup takes “15 minutes flat” to prepare.

The key is to make sure to drain the navy beans and to rinse them twice to get rid of the cloudiness and gunk.

“You want a nice, firm bean with a clean taste,” Hughes said on the American Diabetic Association website. An author of 12 cookbooks, Hughes has also contributed to almost 50 cookbooks for organizations ranging from the American Heart Association to Weight Watchers. Hughes is also author of “The 4-Ingredient Diabetes Cookbook.”

The recipe has one teaspoon of sugar, which adds just enough flavor to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

Baby spinach also makes this soup a nutritious, easy-to-prepare meal. The heat from the soup will slightly wilt the spinach, cooking it slightly. 

“The baby spinach doesn’t have to be washed or chopped, but can be pulled directly from the package,” she said. “You don’t have to do anything except measure it out.”

Hughes said it’s also an excellent way to use leftover chicken. If cooked chicken isn’t available, cut 8 ounces of uncooked boneless chicken breast into bite-size pieces and cook over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes or until it is no longer pink in the center. 

For the most appealing presentation, Hughes suggests serving Tomato Basil Soup with Chicken in a shallow bowl.


Tomato Basil Soup with Chicken


1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings

1/2 (15.5 ounce) can no-salt-added navy beans, rinsed and drained twice

1 (14 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup cooked chicken breast meat

2 ounces baby spinach

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 



– Combine the tomatoes, beans, broth and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

– Add the chicken, spinach and basil and cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in extra virgin olive oil.

– Makes four 1-cup servings. To serve, top each serving with 1 tablespoon mozzarella.


– Recipe from American Diabetes Association