When cold sets in, a massive bowl of soup is always welcomed.
Hearty and flavorful, this Tuscan bean soup hit the spot on a cold night. Even here in the Southwest part of the country, it gets cold.
Bean soup speaks instant comfort.
In this Article
- Origins of the Tuscan Bean Soup
- This fantastic bean soup dinner has so many options.
- Why are cannellini beans good for you?
- Why do I want to soak the bean ahead of time?
- Alternative to soaking the cannellini beans
- The secret flavor to this creamy Tuscan soup
- Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
- Equipment needed
- Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent Tuscan Bean Soup
- Vegetarian Tuscan bean soup
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Tuscan Bean Soup – The Best Italian Soup
Origins of the Tuscan Bean Soup
This soup, like most Tuscan cuisine, has peasant origins. It was initially made by reheating leftover minestrone or vegetable soup from the day before with stale bread.
Some sources date this soup back to the Middle Ages when servants gathered food-soaked bread from feudal lord’s banquets and boul them for dinner.
This fantastic bean soup dinner has so many options.
Make it simple as I have here, or add some extra vegetables such as kale or spinach. Zucchini are also a great complement to this soup. Cut them into larger chunks so they will not fall apart while cooking.
Sometimes you will also find pancetta gives it that hearty, rich flavor.
I chose to pass half of the beans thru a blender to puree them. My choice as I love a more creamy soup. Yet, you still have the richness to bite into a savory spoonful of beans.
Use a mix of beans if you like.
Add some day-old bread to it as well.
Have it for lunch or dinner. It will satisfy any appetite.
Why are cannellini beans good for you?
Cannellini beans are a great source of nutrition. Not only are they fat-free, they are also a great source of fiber, iron, and magnesium.
Why do I want to soak the bean ahead of time?
I understand that this step will require some planning. However, the result is a more decadent and silkier soup that you do not want to pass it up.
Rinse and drain them a couple of times the beans. You want to ensure that all the loose skins are removed and any unwanted beans removed from your cooking process.
Alternative to soaking the cannellini beans
Cannellini beans come in dry, canned, or fresh. Each uses a different method of cooking, of course.
Let’s start with the dry beans.
Soaking, as is with this recipe, is one method. Please place them in a large bowl covered with cold water and store them in the refrigerator overnight. Eight hours will accommodate for the beans to be rehydrated and fully plump.
You can also use the stovetop method for the dry beans. Cover the beans with water, cook them to tender, and let them stand for two hours so they can soak well.
You can also use canned beans for this recipe. Rinse them under cold water and cook them for 5 to 10 minutes with water until they are tender.
Shelled fresh beans are so much fun, and. this recipe will be perfect in the summer when you can find fresh beans and shell them.
Bring the fresh beans to a boil in a pot with broth, cover until tender for about 25 minutes, and then set aside.
The secret flavor to this creamy Tuscan soup
You may notice that I do not use many ingredients in this soup.
To build up the flavor, I use ingredients that bring on a bold flavor – garlic, rosemary, parsley, and leek.
Cooking the beans alone for about one hour will soften them faster, even after the prolonged soaking.
To build texture, puree half of the beans. Added back to your soup, it gives us a rich texture.
Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
You can find the printable recipe with all the suitable ingredient amounts at the bottom of this post.
Cannellini beans: Favorite for this recipe, you can replace them with navy beans or Great Northern beans.
Yellow onion: Soft and tender, add so much flavor to this soup.
Leek: Adds a delicate flavor to your soup. I chopped the leek fine to cook faster, release the natural onion flavor, and melt, giving this soup a rich texture.
Carrot: You do not want to skip this ingredient. Make sure they all are all cubed small.
Celery: A little will go a long way in flavoring this soup. I used three small ones. If your celery has larger stalks, only use two. Remove the outer filaments.
Garlic: I used more than I usually do. If you do not like garlic, use less.
Rosemary: the addition of rosemary to this soup adds a heavenly taste. Removing the needles from the stem and chopping them finely, all the natural oils are released. Those oils add so much flavor to your soup. It also uses less pepper and salt to season this soup due to the rosemary.
Parsley: Most beans go well with herbs, and parsley adds a fresh flavor to your soup.
Tomato paste: Used to thicken and add a depth of flavor to the soup. A little bit goes a long way.
Chicken stock: You can also use vegetable stock if you wish to make this soup vegetarian. Low sodium or sodium-free is my preference. Light and will not change the flavor of the soup.
Parmesan cheese: The final touch to all soups. Optional step, however.
I only recommend what I use and love. To achieve this recipe I used the following:
Bowl to soak your canellini beans. Ensure that it is large enough so the skins can come up to the surface freely.
Colander to drain your canellini
Dutch oven pot my favorite is Le Creuset. Enamel cast iron will distribute the heat evenly and allow for a better cooking.
Chef’s knife we all need a good sharp knife to dice and cut all your vegetables
Blender to puree your beans for your soup
Cooking tools spatula or spoon anything with a long handle to stir your soup
Ladle to spoon your delicious soup into your soup bowls
Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent Tuscan Bean Soup
You can find the printable recipe with all the correct amounts at the bottom of this post. This is just a quick introduction. Please read the full recipe instructions.
- One day before starting the soup, soak the white cannellini bean in a large bowl of cold water. Have about two inches of water above the beans.
- Please place them in the refrigerator and let them do their thing
- Once it is time to cook, remove the beans from the refrigerator. With your hand or spatula, turn the beans and remove any skin that comes up to the surface. Drain and rinse. I would suggest rinsing and draining a couple of times.
- In a large Dutch oven, place your rinsed beans, cover with water, boil, and cook until almost tender. They should still resist at the touch or once you bite into them.
When the beans are cooking, it is a good time to chop all the necessary ingredients.
- Rosemary and parsley can be finely chopped together.
- Dice the onion as well as the carrots.
- Remove all the outer filaments of your celery stalk and slice the stalk in 3 to 4 equal parts lengthwise. Slice crosswise slice to create small dice.
- Do the same with the leek. Wash and remove any outer layer. With a sharp knife, slice lengthwise 5 to 6 times. Crosswise slice to create small chopped pieces.
- If your beans are cooked, remove them from the Dutch oven and puree half them with the chicken stock or any remaining cooking water.
- Use the same large Dutch oven or a new one, and saute all the chopped vegetables, rosemary parsley, and garlic. Cook until tender, for about 10 minutes. The heat has to be medium as you want your onions to sweat, letting out all the natural juices and not burn.
- Add the half-pureed beans and the partially cooked beans to the vegetables. Add stock and the tomato paste that you will have diluted prior with some of the chicken stock.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 45 to 1 hour or until the beans are cooked and tender.
Cannellini beans are substituted with navy beans. Great Northern beans will work beautifully.
To add more flavor and make it richer, you can add some pancetta or ham.
You will also find this recipe with pasta served with it.
I cook the pasta separately in boiling water and then add it to my bowl to enjoy it.
Or, you can cook it directly into the bean soup. This will make the soup more starchy and creamy.
Either way, the dish is wonderfully rich with or without pasta.
Vegetarian Tuscan bean soup
Instead of sodium-free chicken stock, use vegetable stock or, if time permits, roast your favorite vegetables and then boil them in a large stock pot for 30 to 45 minutes.
The stock will be to die for, rich and savory.
Frequently Asked Questions
Storage and reheating instructions
This soup will thicken as it stands. Reheat gently over medium-low heat and add some chicken stock or water to achieve desired consistency.
Saves up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes, it does freeze well for up to 3 months. Make sure you leave space in the container you will be using, as it will expand.
Separate it into smaller portions you can enjoy at lunchtime over a few weeks.
Equipment and ingredients used to make this creamy Tuscan soup
Tuscan Bean Soup – The Best Italian Soup
- 1 pound cannellini bean, soaked over night in the refrigerator
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalk, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, 3 garlic cloves
- 1 leek, thinly sliced and chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 rosemary sprigs, needles separate from the sprig and finely chopped
- 3 parsley sprigs, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken stock, low sodium
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- parmesan cheese, Freshly grated
- Place dry white cannellini beans in a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Refrigerate overnight.Stir and remove any outer shells that is coming to the surface. Drain the beans and rinse them under cold water again.
- In a large pot place the rinsed beans and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cook until almost tender. Remove from the heat. About 1 hour.
- While the beans are cooking chop: onion, celery, garlic, leek, carrot, rosemary, parsley and garlic.
- In another large Dutch oven pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add all the chopped vegetables, rosemary, garlic and parsley. Cook for about 10 minutes until they are tender.
- In a blender, add half of the partially cooked cannellini beans. Add some chicken stock and puree.
- Add the pureed cannellini beans and the whole beans to the vegetables. Dilute the tomato paste with a couple of tablespoons of the stock and add it to the beans.
- Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 45 to 1 hour or when the beans are fully cooked and tender. Partially cover with a lid.
- Stir occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent from burning.
- Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese over it.
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
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