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 (4 cups) 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 (14 oz) cooked cannellini beans – washed and drained

2 skinless cooked chicken breasts – shredded

100 g (3.5 oz) chopped kale

small bunch fresh parsley – chopped

2 tbsp finely grated parmesan

To Serve:

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.

Other Modifications:

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.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 807mg | Potassium: 1651mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7700IU | Vitamin C: 48.8mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 7.8mg

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh thyme in this recipe?

Yes, you can substitute dried thyme for fresh thyme if you don’t have fresh herbs available.

However, use less dried thyme (about half the amount) as dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor.

What can I use as a substitute for cannellini beans?

If you don’t have cannellini beans, you can use other white beans like navy beans or great northern beans.

Drain and rinse them before adding to the soup.

Can I use leftover roasted chicken instead of cooking chicken breasts from scratch?

Absolutely! Leftover roasted chicken works well in this soup.

Simply shred the leftover chicken and add it in when the recipe calls for cooked chicken.

Is kale necessary for this soup, or can I use other greens?

While kale adds a hearty texture and nutritional value to the soup, you can substitute it with other leafy greens such as spinach or Swiss chard if preferred.

How long does this soup last in the refrigerator?

This Tuscan Style Chicken Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Can I use olive oil substitutes in this recipe?

Yes, you can substitute olive oil with other oils like avocado oil or vegetable oil if you prefer.

What’s a good alternative to fresh thyme?

If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried thyme works well as a substitute.

Use half the amount of dried thyme called for in the recipe.

Can I omit the cannellini beans from this soup?

Yes, you can omit the cannellini beans if you prefer.

The soup will still be delicious and hearty without them.

How can I make this soup vegetarian?

To make this soup vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.

You can also add extra vegetables or tofu for protein.

Can I freeze Tuscan Style Chicken Soup?

Yes, this soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags.

It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

What type of potatoes work best in this soup?

Any type of potato works well in this soup, but waxy potatoes like Yukon Golds or red potatoes hold their shape better during cooking.

Is kale essential in this recipe, or can I use a different leafy green?

While kale adds a nice texture and flavor to the soup, you can substitute it with spinach, Swiss chard, or collard greens if preferred.

Can I use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead of cooking chicken breasts from scratch?

Yes, using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is a convenient option.

Simply shred the chicken and add it to the soup when directed in the recipe.

What can I serve as a gluten-free alternative to granary bread?

Gluten-free bread or gluten-free baguettes are excellent alternatives to granary bread for those with gluten sensitivities.

How can I adjust the seasoning in this soup to suit my taste preferences?

Taste the soup after it’s fully cooked and adjust the salt and pepper according to your preference.

You can also add extra herbs or spices if desired.

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