Onions cooked until golden brown add rich, sweet flavor to this delicious and satisfying chicken soup. Shredded Swiss chard adds flavor and beta carotene.


4 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth, homemade or reduced-sodium canned, or Onion Broth
4 large carrots, sliced
4 ounces spaghetti, broken in thirds
4 cups (loosely packed) 1-inch pieces Swiss chard or spinach


1 In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over high heat. Add the onion and garlic, then reduce the heat to medium-high, and sauté until the onion is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

2 Push the onion mixture to one side of the skillet and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Cook the chicken until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side.

3 Add 1/4 cup of the broth and stir to loosen any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer mixture until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken and half the onion mixture to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm.

4 Transfer the remaining onion mixture to a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add the remaining 3 3/4 cups broth, the carrots, spaghetti, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes.

5 Stir in the Swiss chard, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the vegetables and pasta are tender, 4 to 6 minutes (spinach will cook faster).

6 Ladle the soup into bowls. Cut the reserved chicken on an angle into thin slices and arrange on top of each bowl. Spoon the browned onion mixture over the chicken and serve. Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 286
total fat 6g
saturated fat 0.9g
cholesterol 33mg
dietary fiber 4g
carbohydrate 36g
protein 22g
sodium 738mg

good source of: beta carotene, fiber, niacin, selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin C

If you are concerned about sodium levels, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Weight Loss, edited by Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 26 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 25 Mar 2015