Soup is the ultimate winter comfort food, warming to both the body and soul. It’s even better when it’s made from scratch using wholesome ingredients, brimming with nutrients. Here's a savory and mouthwatering recipe for Tuscan White Bean Soup that will satisfy both the hearty and the finicky eaters in your family.
Yield: Makes 8 to 12 servings
- 2 cups dry white beans
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces smoked bacon (about three slices), cut into strips
- 2 medium onions (1 pound), peeled, trimmed and diced
- 2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled and diced (3/4 cup)
- 2 small celery stalks, trimmed and diced (1/2 cup)
- 1 small celery root, peeled and diced
- 6-7 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 large tomato (8 ounces), peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves
- 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1/3 cup sherry wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, or vegetable stock, heated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Sliced cooked sausage, for garnish, (optional)
- Braised swiss chard, for garnish, (optional)
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish, (optional)
1. In a large bowl, soak the beans overnight in enough cold water to cover. Drain.
2. Heat a large stockpot and pour in the olive oil. Add the strips of bacon and cook for a few minutes to render flavor to the soup. Remove the bacon.
3. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and celery root and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, chopped tomato and the drained beans. Tie together the basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. Add to the pot with the vinegar and the sugar. Pour in the stock and stir to combine thoroughly. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
5. Cook over medium heat until the beans are tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, adding more stock as necessary.
6. Discard the herbs. Remove 2 cups of the beans and vegetables and puree blender or food processor. Stir the puree back into the soup and adjust the seasoning to taste.
7. To serve, spoon the soup into heated bowls. Garnish with sausage, Swiss chard, or Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!