Tuscan White Bean Soup

Cold temps, wind, and snow all mean one thing….cozy food. Soups, pastas, and basically anything warm all work. Enter this soup. It’s cozy, yet still light enough to serve as a healthy dinner and fresh enough to transition us all the way into spring…plus it’s easy. Basically, the all around perfect soup! This soup is easy, full of flavors and packed with fiber and protein. This was an instant last minute plan so I used all the canned items however if you are a die-hard make it from the ground up kind of cook, than by all means, soak your beans for twenty-four hours, use ur homemade tomato paste! A lot of times I don’t think that far ahead. 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!

If you have never cooked with leek, please make sure you read the method on cleaning. I love Tuscan kale aka Dinosaur Kale. Don’t get me wrong, I love some good old-fashioned regular curly kale too, but if I can find a way to work Tuscan kale into a recipe, I will.  I love that deep bluish-green color and all that delicious textury goodness. Plus, you don’t have to massage it or cook it very long. If you cant find Tuscan kale, go ahead use the regular kale. This recipe is perfect for light lunch or weekday meal. I love pairing my soup with crostini and salad. Trust me when I say this, its perfect fall soup! What are you waiting for? Go ahead and make this recipe this week!

Ingredients

1 leek

4 ounce carrots

1/8 ounce rosemary

4 ounce dinosaur kale

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup white wine (optional)

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can white beans

8-10 ounces of vegetable stock

1 boule loaf

1 ounces shaved parmesan cheese

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 475F for crostini.

Now lets prep all the veggies. Trim off dark green tops of leeks and discard. Halve leek lengthwise and cut into half moons. Place in a bowl of cold water, separating pieces, to let the dirt sink to bottom. Do not drain the leeks, or the dirt at the bottom will pour over them. Instead, use your hands to remove them from the water. Halve carrots lengthwise and cut into half moons. Strip rosemary leaves and finely mince. Finely mince garlic. Stack kale leaves, slice thinly, and discard the stems. Drain white beans, reserving bean liquid aside.

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering, add leeks and carrots. Saute, stirring, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and half of rosemary. Cook, stirring until fragrant. Add white wine and cook until mostly evaporated, this process takes approximately 2-3 minutes. If you don’t want to cook with wine, most welcome to skip this part. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes along with juices, crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper. Mix it thoroughly and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. To the seasoned vegetables, add stock, reserved bean liquid and 2-3 cups of water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium high and simmer until flavors have melded, approx. 10 minutes.

While soup is simmering, cut boule into 1 inch slices and arrange on baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle both sides with EVOO, rosemary, salt and pepper. Top it off with half of sliced parmesan cheese. Bake until golden/cheese is melted. Lets go back to the soup; after 10 minutes are over, stir in kale and white beans. Continue to cook until kale leaves begins to wilt and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Divide tuscan white bean soup between serving bowls and garnish with remaining parmesan cheese and serve with cheesy crostini for dipping. Enjoy!

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