Tuscan Bean Soup (gluten & dairy-free)
Nothing quite warms the belly in the cold winter months like a rich broth soup. The depth of flavors in my Tuscan bean soup (gluten & dairy-free), make this a favorite during the snowy days of winter. You may also want to try my Thai Coconut Curry Soup, one of my most pinned recipes on Pinterest!
As I look out my window, the snow covers our fields like a warm white blanket, but at twenty degrees, it is only a deception. My husband and I recently visited Maui, Hawaii, soaking up the vitamin D, kayaking in the ocean, adventuring the Road to Hana. Ten days of tropical weather truly does something for one’s psyche. You can imagine the shock to our bodies as we departed the plane back to reality; a fifty degree difference takes the breath away! I know I can’t complain, though. Much of the country has been under the polar vortex, plummeting temperatures in the minus digits. All I can say is Bring on Spring! But until then, a nice bowl of Tuscan Bean Soup (gluten & dairy-free) will warm you up.
I use canned beans in my soup, but if you are a die-hard make it from the ground up kind of cook, than by all means, soak your beans for twenty-four hours! A lot of times I don’t think that far ahead. I do, however, buy organic. Living in the wheat fields of the Palouse and watching the crop dusters spray their chemicals over the fields makes me shut my windows and doors as fast as I can. I don’t know if that truly protects me, but I do have a choice when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, and I prefer choosing organic, non-sprayed foods.
Okay, enough of my “blah-blah-blogging” and on with this yummy Tuscan Bean Soup (gluten & dairy-free) recipe. Begin by sauteing one chicken breast in evoo (extra-virgin-olive-oil) until browned and fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes depending on the breast size. While that is cooking, chop all your vegetables before adding them to your pot for sauteing: onion, celery, carrots, and you might as well chop the kale, even though it will be added later. Also, have our minced garlic ready.
Look at those delicious vibrant colors! So yummy, so good for you! Soups are one of those “good earth” meals. Some day I will blog my hearty vegetable soup. It runs in a close equal to the delicious Thai Coconut Curry Soup I linked earlier. In fact, I may make it this weekend and post it soon, it is that good! But once again, I get side-tracked, so back to the Tuscan Bean Soup recipe.
Personally, I like to saute my chicken with a little parsley, squirt of lemon juice, salt and pepper. But you can just saute a plain chicken breast for this recipe if you like. Don’t be afraid to add a little zing to your cooking!
Once your veggies are soft and the onions translucent, add the chicken broth, water, beans, tomatoes, and kale. Turn your heat down to a simmer and add the chopped chicken.
Okay, one more thing…broth matters! You can make your own by boiling the carcass or parts of the chicken & bones. Add water, celery, onion, carrots, and especially herbs such as thyme, oregano, bay leaf, and parsley. Here’s a great recipe for making your own, and it freezes great! Homemade Chicken Broth. If you don’t have any homemade stock on hand, the next best this is organic chicken stock made from wholesome ingredients.