I LOVE soup season! There's something about bowl food that's so comforting.
Recently we've been serving a lot of dinners on our knees. We've been batch filming lots of recipe videos lately, so the kitchen table is piled high with equipment - meaning we're all squashed up on the sofa, getting through multiple episodes of Marvel's Agents of Shield (quite enjoying watching it all together as a family, but trying not to feel the mum-guilt of not sitting at the table).
Trust me, a lap-served meal requiring a knife and fork just doesn't mix with kids. The amount of times I've watched a sauce-covered knife slowly slip from Lewis's grasp and end up on one of the cushions, whilst yelling 'nooooooo' in that slow-motion Vadar voice from Star Wars is too many to count.
But I'm not giving up!! Bowl food like this delicious soup requires a spoon only. No juggling of cutlery, just family cuddled up, bowls held under our chins, getting our Sci-Fi TV fix.
We start by softening onions in a pan with oil, then adding garlic and thyme. Next in goes carrots, potato and celery, followed by chicken stock, salt and pepper. Let that simmer together for 20 minutes. Next add cannellini beans and let them cook for 5 minutes before finishing off with cooked shredded chicken and kale. Bubble for another couple of minutes until heated through.
Serve it with some granary toast for a filling meal (fortunately my kids prefer it un-buttered, so that saves the cushions from another potential risk!).
What is Tuscan soup?
A Tuscan soup is basically an Italian-style soup that contains beans, kale and vegetables. The famous Zuppa Toscana (translated as Tuscan soup) contains Sausage and or bacon. This version is my chicken version.
There are lots of different Italian soups - tomato and bread based ones (Pappa al pomodoro), ones that contain vegetables and bread (Ribollita) and pasta soups (Minestrone) to name a few.
What can I serve this soup with?
I love serving this with granary bread, but you could also make it a more substantial meal by serving with up with:
- Cheese and Tomato Garlic Pizza Bread
- Stuffed Cheesy Breads with Spinach and Bacon
- Garlic Mushroom and Brie Toast
- Broad Bean and Quinoa Caprese Salad
- Prosciutto, Feta and Nectarine Salad with Griddled Courgette
The Tuscan Style Chicken Soup Video:
In order to make this heart warming Tuscan Style Chicken Soup you will need:
- A medium sized saucepan.
- A Colander for washing the cannellini beans.
- Grater (If you choose to grate your own cheese)
- Measuring Spoons.
- A good Kitchen Knife
- Chopping board
- Garlic press
- Measuring jug.
- Wooden or silicon coated spoons. We have recently bought these and love them.
The Tuscan Style Chicken Soup Recipe:
Tuscan Style Chicken Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion - peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 stick of celery - sliced
- 2 medium carrots - peeled and chopped
- 2 medium potatoes - peeled and diced
- 1 litre good-quality chicken stock (ideally homemade, but water with stock cubes will work too. Use water plus bouillon for gluten free)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 400 g cooked cannellini beans - washed and drained
- 2 skinless cooked chicken breasts - shredded
- 100 g chopped kale
- Small bunch fresh parsley - chopped
- 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
- Fresh thyme
- Toasted granary bread to serve - gluten free if required - Warburtons Newburn Bakehouse Seeded is a good one
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes on a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the celery, carrots and potatoes, stir, then add in the chicken stock, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add in the drained cannellini beans and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Add the shredded chicken and heat through for 2-3 minutes, then add the kale. Stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the kale has wilted. Test and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Divide between four bowls, topped with fresh parsley, grated parmesan and a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme. Serve with some toasted granary bread.
Can I make it gluten free?Yes – use gluten free stock and serve with gluten free bread.
Can I make it ahead?The kale won't be quite as vibrant, but yes, you can make this soup ahead. Make the soup, then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving.
Will it freeze?Yes! Make the soup, then quickly cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving.
- Stir in chunks of slightly stale bread (like a Ribollita soup) about 15 minutes before the soup is done. This will thicken the soup.
- Make it a vegetarian version, leaving out the chicken and using a really good quality vegetarian stock. You'll also need to replace the parmesan with vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese.
- Replace the cannellini beans with tinned chickpeas or butter beans (lima beans)
- Add extra veggies or replace with different veggies – such as leeks or mushrooms.
- Stir in a couple of tablespoons of double (heavy) cream and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, for a creamy version.
This post was first created in November 2016 (and I first made this soup for Superfood Magazine). Updated in October 2019 with video, step-by-step photos and some general housekeeping.
If you liked this then please check our some of my other soup recipes.
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