I love a big bowl of warm, comforting soup as the weather begins to cool. But can comfort food be healthy? Yes, yes it can- and this Tuscan Bean Soup fits the bill! Packed with vegetables and white beans, this soup is a great source of protein, folate, iron, fiber, vitamins A, C, and K – just to name a few.
Last year, on a cool autumn evening, my husband and I went to a drive-in movie (we have a drive-in theater just a few miles down the road – how cool is that!?) We decided to make a picnic of it, so I packed Tuscan Bean Soup into a thermos, brought a loaf of crusty old world bread , and a bottle of white wine. We sat in the car, wrapped in a blanket, and enjoyed a warm bowl of delicious soup with a dixie cup of wine and watched the movie.
Tuscan Bean Soup is so hearty and packed with flavor – it tastes like it’s been simmering away on the stove all day. In reality, it only takes 30 minutes of cook time! Easy, healthy, and filing – this dish redefines comfort food!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1/2 head savoy cabbage, about 8 cups
- 1 small bunch kale, about 4 cups
- 2 – 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 – 14 ounce cans cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- crusty bread, cut into thick slices
- parmigiano-reggiano, grated, for serving (optional)
- In a large heavy-bottemed pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the savoy cabbage and kale, stir until wilted, another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes and beans. Add the thyme, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Pour the chicken stock over the ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- While be soup is simmering, toast the bread slices.
- Remove the bay leaves and stems of thyme. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with grated parmigiano-reggiano, and serve with the toasted bread. Enjoy!
Saute the Onions, Garlic, Carrots, and Celery:
Add the Savoy Cabbage and Kale:
Add the Tomatoes, Chicken Stock, Thyme, and Bay Leaf – Simmer:
Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Regiano and Toasted Bread. Enjoy!