I haven't posted a soup recipe since 2009. Dang. It's not because I'm not making and eating them, I think it's more to do with the fact that they're a)not extremely photogenic, and b)rarely the result of an actual recordable recipe.
This is a good soup, and not only because it makes use of the ever-popular kale. (In truth, I almost used a different green on principle alone; I do hate to conform.) It's fairly basic but super flavorful, containing nearly all of my favorite herbs. Plus, I find that white beans cook up quite nicely, staying soft but still retaining their shape and not turning into complete mush.
You can start with a mirepoix, or course; I didn't have any carrots, so I skipped those. Feel free to bump up or dial back the garlic as you see fit. I mentioned that this soup contains almost all the best herbs (rosemary and thyme are numbers two and three behind only cilantro on my list) but if you prefer others, go for it. If you use tarragon, though, we can't be friends--that stuff's foul.
Under the Tuscan Bean Soup
- 2 (14-ounce) cans cannellini or northern beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 cup dried, rehydrated overnight)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced on a microplane grater
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 potatoes, diced and parboiled
- 2 quarts chicken stock, plus extra water if needed
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 3 to 4 cups roughly chopped kale or swiss chard leaves
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery, and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Add the potatoes, cannellini beans, and chicken stock. Using kitchen twine, tie the herbs and the bay leaf into a bundle and add to the pot. Season with the red chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, then add the kale. Continue cooking until the beans are completely tender but not disintegrated. And hey--don't forget to fish out the bundle of herbage. Nobody wants to eat that.