This hearty, healthy soup is ready in 30 minutes and offers a bouquet of rich and delicious Italian ingredients. With 5 different veggies, steeped in a tomato-based broth, this dish is bursting with color, flavor, and nutrition. Stay warm over winter with this nourishing, gluten-free, dairy-free recipe!
Tuscany is one of my favorite places. A couple of summers ago we spent a week touring the countryside of Central Italy in a micro-car and it was magical. The wine was good, the food even better, and the scenery was breathtaking.
We stayed in a little town called Montepulciano, famous for its uphill barrel-rolling race and red wine. Villa Poggiano was our home for the week and I cannot speak highly enough of their property and service. Nestled among vineyards and olive groves, it’s truly a fantastic place to stay.
No blog post on Tuscany would be complete without a mention of the food. I’ve never eaten so many dishes spiked with truffles or devoured more pasta and cheese than our week in Montepulciano. Tuscan cuisine is fresh, flavorful and hearty, and continues to inspire my recipes to-date.
This soup is one of those Tuscan-inspired dishes. It’s not necessarily traditional, but it’s packed with Italian flavors and fresh ingredients. It’s rich and warm, without being heavy, which is exactly what I crave during these cool winter months in San Francisco.
We have another trip to Italy planned for May. I am not sure if we’ll be back to Montepulciano or adventure somewhere else. Regardless, my memories of Tuscany will remain alive in the kitchen.
Tuscan Chicken, White Bean, and Vegetable Soup
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
½ white onion
¼ lb (114g) white or cremini mushrooms
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups spinach or kale
2 raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 x 14 oz (411g) cans diced tomatoes
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 x 14oz (411g) can white beans
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp brown sugar
Crush and mince the garlic.
Thinly slice the onion and mushrooms. Peel and chop the carrots, as needed.
Slice the zucchini into ¼-inch (0.5cm) thick discs. Halve each disc.
Roughly chop the spinach/kale.
Drain and rinse the canned white beans.
Place a large soup pot on the stove, and turn the stove onto medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, white onion and carrot to the pot. Cook until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
While the garlic and onion are cooking, thinly slice the chicken breasts.
Add the chicken to the pot, and brown all over.
Add the zucchini, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, white beans, salt, dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, and brown sugar to the pot.
Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
A few minutes before serving, remove the lid, and add the chopped spinach/kale to the soup. Continue cooking for another minute or so to wilt the greens. Top with grated parmesan.
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