Since the New Year, I’ve been making an extra effort to create a thorough meal plan for the week. In doing this, I’ve also been taking more time to flip through cookbooks and search out new recipes. During my last pass, two recipes caught my eye: Ellie Krieger’s Tuscan Vegetable Soup (from The Food You Crave) and Cooking Light’s Tuscan Chicken Soup (from The Best of Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites)
Both had some sort of tomato product, chicken broth, spinach, onion and cannellini beans. I liked that the Cooking Light recipe incorporated chicken and roasted red peppers, while Ellie Krieger’s had more vegetables. I combined the best of both worlds, adding mushrooms in place of carrots and celery and substituting dried basil and oregano for thyme and sage. In my house, you never have too many mushrooms or too much oregano! I was happy to have the opportunity to use my homemade roasted red peppers.
The finished product was attractive and delicious. Served with crusty bread, it was a perfect dinner!
Tuscan Chicken Vegetable Soup
Yields 6 Servings
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 10 oz)
1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 15 oz. can plain no-salt-added tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes w/ juices)
1 cup diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach *
1/8 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic minced)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1. In a small bowl, mash half of the beans with the back of a spoon and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, zucchini and mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently until the vegetables are tender (about five minutes).
3. Add the broth and tomato sauce. Season with garlic powder, pepper, basil and oregano.
4. Add the chicken and whole beans. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium. Add spinach and mashed bean (stir well to dissolve). Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
* You can either heat the spinach ahead of time, or allow it to defrost in the soup.