Tuscan Bean and Chicken Italian Sausage Soup

Tuscan Bean and Chicken Italian Sausage Soup is a hearty and nutritious dish, combining the rich flavors of Italian sausage, tender chicken, and wholesome beans. Here’s the full recipe for this comforting soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450g) chicken Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 can (14 oz/400g) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz/425g) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups (950ml) chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup (about 85g) small pasta (such as ditalini or elbow)
  • 3 cups (about 180g) fresh spinach, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook Chicken Italian Sausage:
    • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken Italian sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove any excess fat.
  2. Sauté Aromatics:
    • Add chopped onion, minced garlic, diced carrots, and diced celery to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Season the Soup:
    • Stir in dried oregano, dried thyme, dried rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add Tomatoes and Beans:
    • Pour in the can of diced tomatoes with their juices. Add the drained and rinsed cannellini beans. Stir to combine.
  5. Simmer with Broth:
    • Pour in the chicken broth and add a bay leaf for extra flavor. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  6. Cook Pasta:
    • Add the small pasta to the simmering soup. Cook according to the package instructions or until the pasta is al dente.
  7. Add Fresh Spinach:
    • Stir in the chopped fresh spinach and cook until it wilts into the soup.
  8. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes based on your preference.
  9. Serve:
    • Ladle the hot Tuscan Bean and Chicken Italian Sausage Soup into bowls. If desired, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh parsley.
  10. Enjoy:
    • Serve the soup hot, and enjoy the comforting blend of flavors in this Tuscan-inspired dish.
  11. Storage:
    • This soup can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. If reheating, you may need to add a little extra broth as the pasta can absorb liquid.

Feel free to customize this recipe by adding other vegetables like zucchini or kale. The combination of savory Italian sausage, tender chicken, beans, and aromatic herbs makes this Tuscan soup a delightful and satisfying meal.

Tuscan Bean and Chicken Italian Sausage Soup Benefits

The Tuscan Bean and Chicken Italian Sausage Soup is not only a flavorful and comforting dish but also offers several nutritional benefits due to its diverse and nutrient-rich ingredients. Here are some potential benefits associated with this hearty soup:

  1. Protein-Rich:
    • The chicken Italian sausage provides a good source of protein, essential for muscle repair, immune function, and overall body maintenance.
  2. Fiber from Beans and Vegetables:
    • Cannellini beans and vegetables like carrots and celery contribute dietary fiber. Fiber supports digestive health, helps maintain a feeling of fullness, and may aid in regulating blood sugar levels.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals from Vegetables:
    • Vegetables like carrots, celery, and spinach add essential vitamins (A, C, K) and minerals to the soup, supporting overall health and well-being.
  4. Lycopene from Tomatoes:
    • The diced tomatoes in the soup contain lycopene, an antioxidant associated with various health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases.
  5. Herbs for Flavor and Potential Health Benefits:
    • Herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary not only enhance the flavor of the soup but may also provide additional health benefits. Some herbs have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  6. Whole Grains from Pasta:
    • The addition of small pasta provides whole grains, contributing complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.
  7. Iron from Spinach:
    • Fresh spinach is a good source of iron, a vital mineral for transporting oxygen in the blood and supporting overall energy levels.
  8. Customization for Dietary Preferences:
    • The recipe is versatile, allowing for customization based on dietary preferences. You can choose lean or plant-based sausage alternatives and adjust the types of vegetables used.
  9. Comfort and Mental Well-Being:
    • Comfort foods, such as this hearty Tuscan soup, can contribute to a sense of well-being and satisfaction. Enjoying a comforting meal can positively impact mental health and mood.
  10. Hydration from Broth:
    • The chicken broth used in the soup adds moisture and contributes to hydration. Staying well-hydrated is essential for various bodily functions.

It’s important to note that while this soup offers nutritional benefits, moderation and balance in overall dietary choices are key to a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, individual nutritional needs vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice based on your specific health goals and conditions.

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