What Is Tuscan Bean Soup?
Long-simmered pots of bean soup are popular throughout Italy. This one takes a few shortcuts by using canned beans, but the flavor will be very similar to soups that have simmered for hours.
Ingredients for the Soup
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 1 large coarsely chopped large onion
- 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
- 1 stalk of coarsely chopped celery
- 2 thickly sliced medium carrots
- 3 springs of fresh oregano
- Black pepper, as desired
- 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, or small white beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups of baby kale or baby spinach, stems removed
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano, for garnish
- 1/4 tablespoon of salt
- Olive oil, to serve
- Extra grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Ingredients for the Parmesan Toasts
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 baguette, thinly sliced
How to Cook the Soup
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, until warm. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, celery, fresh oregano springs, pepper, and salt, when the oil is hot. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables are softened and the onions are translucent. Then, prepare the beans. Mash 1/2 cup of them with a fork on a plate. You can also use a potato masher. Add them to the vegetables in the pot. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.
Then, add the remaining beans to the pot and stir them. Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat and cover partially with a lid-placed askew, and simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots are tender and the liquid is flavorful.
While the bean soup simmers, it’s time to prepare the Parmesan toast. Toast the bread until it’s lightly golden on both sides. While the toast is hot, sprinkle it with cheese and olive oil. If you have a toaster oven, heat the toast for 1 minute so you can melt the cheese. Otherwise, arrange the toasts in a skilled over medium heat. Then, cover and warm for about 1 minute or until the cheese has melted.
Add the greens – spinach or kale to the pot and simmer for another two minutes. Serve the bean soup by sprinkling it with more olive oil and oregano if you like. Serve the Parmesan toasts and add more Parmesan. You know what they say about cheese – you can never have too much!