Tuscan White Bean Soup

Tuscan White Bean Soup is a rustic and hearty dish that brings the flavors of Italy to your kitchen. This soup is made with creamy white beans, savory vegetables, and aromatic herbs, creating a comforting and nourishing meal. Perfect for a cozy dinner or as a satisfying lunch, this soup is both easy to make and incredibly delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh parsley or basil for garnish (optional)
  • Crusty bread for serving

Instructions

1. Sauté Vegetables:
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

2. Add Carrots and Celery:
Stir in the sliced carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften.

3. Add Tomatoes and Broth:
Pour in the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and the vegetable or chicken broth. Stir to combine.

4. Add Beans and Seasonings:
Add the drained and rinsed cannellini beans to the pot. Stir in the dried rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

5. Simmer the Soup:
Let the soup simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.

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6. Add Greens:
Stir in the chopped spinach or kale. Let the greens cook for about 2-3 minutes, until they are wilted and tender.

7. Serve:
Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired and garnish with fresh parsley or basil. Serve with crusty bread for a complete meal.

Tips for Success

  • Bean Preparation: For an extra creamy texture, you can mash some of the beans with a fork before adding them to the soup.
  • Herb Substitutions: Fresh herbs can be used in place of dried herbs if available. Use about three times the amount of fresh herbs compared to dried.
  • Broth Choice: Use a high-quality broth for the best flavor. Homemade broth can make a significant difference.
  • Texture: If you prefer a thicker soup, you can blend a portion of the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender before adding the greens.

Variations

  • Meaty Version: Add cooked Italian sausage or pancetta for a meaty twist.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Ensure the broth and Parmesan cheese are vegetarian or vegan. Nutritional yeast can be used as a vegan substitute for Parmesan.
  • Spicy Twist: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeño for some heat.

Conclusion

Tuscan White Bean Soup is a delightful and nourishing dish that brings the warmth and flavors of the Italian countryside to your table. With its creamy beans, savory vegetables, and aromatic herbs, this soup is both comforting and satisfying. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a hearty lunch, this soup is sure to please. Enjoy it with a slice of crusty bread and a sprinkle of Parmesan for the perfect finishing touch.

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