See what I did there? Just by adding “Tuscan” to the name, this soup sounds so much more refined … unlike my “Layered Veggie Thingy”! (I’m learning)
This soup is quick and easy to throw together, lots of fiber, low in calories and full of flavor.
The Cannellini beans are the stars of this soup, packed with protein, iron, magnesium and folate they are the perfect complement to the ham and spinach. Since I don’t plan anything but my vacations very far in advance, I just use canned beans rather than soaking the dried beans overnight and cooking them.
Difficulty: Souper easy!
- (3) cans Cannellini beans
- (1) can chili beans in chili sauce
- 10 ozs. diced ham
- 5 ozs. baby spinach (chopped)
- 48 ozs. low sodium chicken stock
- (1) tsp. minced garlic
- (1) tbsp. hot sauce (Frank’s or similar)
- ground black pepper (to taste)
Drain and rinse the 3 cans of Cannellini beans, add 2 of the cans to your stockpot. If there is a trick to this recipe at all, it is using a potato masher to mash the beans in the bottom of your stockpot. This will thicken the soup and change it from just being some beans floating around in chicken broth to a rich hearty bean broth.
After the beans are sufficiently smashed add some of the chicken broth and stir, making sure that none of the beans are stuck to the bottom of your stockpot, because no one likes burnt beans in their soup! Add the rest of the chicken stock, the remaining can of Cannellini beans, the chili beans with their sauce, the ham, then start warming.
If you are lucky enough to have a good ham bone by all means use it, it will kick the flavor way up, if not dicing a ham steak will suffice, which it what I did this time.
While everything in the stockpot is heating, wilt the chopped spinach in a skillet with a drizzle of EVOO. Once it is thoroughly wilted add the minced garlic and continue heating for another minute.
Add the spinach-garlic mix to the soup along with a tablespoon of Frank’s hot sauce and a generous grind of coarse black pepper. Let it simmer a few minutes then taste the broth. Add more pepper or hot sauce as needed or perhaps a pinch of chili powder or Cajun seasoning. Simmer a few more minutes then serve with a crusty bread or cornbread. Yum!