This article first appeared on Kitchen Sanctuary.

I LOVE soup season! There’s something about bowl food that’s so comforting.

Right now, whilst we have no dining table, most of our dinners are served on our knees, all squashed up on one sofa (the other sofa is piled high with boxes).

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, almost makes me want to give up and just go out to the nearest fast food chain for dinner every night until our kitchen’s finished.

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, watching the latest series of Planet Earth (a brilliant family watch, except for the occasional bit of fast forwarding over the more shocking parts!).

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!).


Equipment

In order to make this heart warming Tuscan Style Chicken Soup you will need:

 


Ingredients

  • 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


To Serve:

  • Fresh thyme
  • Toasted granary bread to serve gluten free if required – Warburtons Newburn Bakehouse Seeded is a good one


Instructions

  • 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.

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