Tuscan White Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2T EVOO

3 carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, cut in half (you’ll remove this later)

1 medium, sweet onion, halved (you’ll remove this later)

1 zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

3-4 garlic cloves, diced

4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth

1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes (with juice)

2 cans cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)

1 cup kale, chopped

S&P (I use white pepper)

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig oregano, 1 bay leaf, tied together

1 T Sugar (optional)

1 T White wine vinegar (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, and squash. Sautée 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add 4 cups of chicken broth and the tomatoes and stir. Add the bouquet garni and the red pepper flakes. Bring the broth to a boil and then turn the stove down to medium-low and leave the broth to simmer for 3-4 hours.

Add the cannellini beans and let simmer for 30 minutes.

With tongs or a slotted spoon, carefully remove and discard the celery and onion. Remove and discard the bouquet garni.

Dump a few big ladles of soup into a blender or food processor. Purée 5 seconds or less, until the beans look chopped, but try not to over process.

Pour the purée back into the Dutch oven and stir. Add a tad of salt and pepper.

Be patient! This soup gets better after all of the flavors have time to combine.

After about 30-45 minutes, check the soup for taste. Adjust S&P if needed. This is when you can add the vinegar and sugar, but if you like the soup the way it is leave it alone!

Add the chopped kale within 10 minutes of serving.

Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and crostini.