Tuscan Vegetable & Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese Toasts

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
Serves: 10

This hearty chicken and vegetable soup is packed with Italian-inspired flavours. Sage, basil, and rosemary combine to create a delicious and memorable soup. Cheese-topped crostini are the perfect complement to this rustic dish.


Tuscan Vegetable & Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese Toasts:

1 lb (0.5 kg) chicken breast(s), cooked, cubed
6 cups (1.5 L) water
1 cup (250 mL) navy beans, dry
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 mL) onion(s), diced
2 cups (500 mL) carrot(s), diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) sage, fresh, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) rosemary, fresh, minced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
2 cups (500 mL) zucchini, diced
1/4 cup (60 mL) basil, fresh, minced

Cheese Toasts:

1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
20 pieces whole grain baguette, cut 1 inch thick
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat ricotta cheese
6 tbsp (90 mL) Romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup (125 mL) flat leaf parsley, chopped


Tuscan Vegetable & Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese Toasts

1 Put beans and water in a large soup pot with a tight fitting lid. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 60 minutes or until the beans are soft. Do not overcook.
2 Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery, minced fresh rosemary and sage; cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Stir vegetable mixture into beans (don't drain beans), Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3 Stir in tomatoes, zucchini, and chicken and simmer until just tender (approximately 10 minutes).
4 Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in fresh minced basil.

Cheese Toasts

1 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
2 In a heavy non-stick skillet, heat olive oil and fry bread slices for 1 minute per side or until golden brown. Spread ricotta cheese evenly over toasts. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle each with 1 tsp (5 mL) Romano cheese. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden – make sure they don't burn. Sprinkle with parsley.
3 To serve, place a ricotta cheese toast on each serving of soup and pass the remaining slices at the table.