Tuscan White Bean Soup Recipe


There’s nothing quite like a warm and comforting soup to nourish both body and soul. Imagine coming home after a long, chilly day, craving a hearty meal that satisfies your hunger and warms you from the inside out. That’s where Tuscan White Bean Soup comes to the rescue, offering a delightful solution to your cold weather woes.

Finding time to prepare wholesome meals can be challenging in today’s fast-paced world. We often resort to convenient but less nutritious options that do little to fuel our bodies. The consequence? We miss out on the vital nutrients and the opportunity to savor a truly satisfying dining experience.

However, with Tuscan White Bean Soup, you can bid farewell to compromising on taste, health, and convenience. This soul-soothing soup recipe boasts an incredible flavor profile and tackles the common problem of limited time and access to fresh ingredients.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups dried cannellini beans: Cannellini beans are the star ingredient of this soup. 
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth: The broth serves as the base of the soup, providing a flavorful and savory liquid in which the beans and vegetables cook. Vegetable broth can be used for a vegetarian version, while chicken broth adds a richer taste to the soup.
  • 1 medium onion: The onion adds a sweet and aromatic flavor to the soup. 
  • 3 garlic cloves: Garlic brings the dish a pungent and aromatic flavor. 
  • 2 carrots, diced: Diced carrots contribute flavor and visual appeal to the soup. 
  • 2 celery stalks, diced: Diced celery adds a subtle earthy flavor and crunchy texture to the soup.
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary: Fresh rosemary infuses the soup with a fragrant and woody aroma, enhancing the overall taste experience. 
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme: Like rosemary, fresh thyme brings a delightful herbal flavor to the soup. 
  • 1 bay leaf: The bay leaf adds a distinct aroma and flavor to the soup as it simmers. 
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes: Diced tomatoes provide acidity and a burst of tangy flavor to the soup. 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: Olive oil is used for sautéing the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. 
  • Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper are essential seasonings that help bring out the flavors of all the ingredients in the soup. 
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional): Grated Parmesan cheese adds a savory and tangy element to the finished soup. It can be sprinkled on top just before serving to enhance the overall taste and provide a delightful cheesy touch. 

Equipment Needed:

  • Large pot or Dutch oven: A large pot or Dutch oven is essential for cooking the soup.
  • Wooden spoon or ladle: A wooden spoon or ladle is used for stirring and mixing the ingredients in the pot. 
  • Knife and cutting board: A knife and cutting board are necessary to prepare vegetables like onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. 
  • Can opener: A can opener is required to open the can of diced tomatoes. 
  • Immersion blender or countertop blender (optional): An immersion blender or countertop blender is optional but can be used to puree a portion of the soup if desired. 

Step By Step Guide On How To Prepare Tuscan White Bean Soup 

Tuscan White Bean Soup is a hearty, comforting dish perfect for chilly days. It is a classic Italian soup made with simple and flavorful ingredients. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare the soup;

Step 1: Soak and Cook the Cannellini Beans

Rinse 2 cups of dried cannellini beans under cold water, removing any debris. Cover the beans in a large pot or Dutch oven with water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.

After soaking, drain and rinse the beans again. Return them to the pot and add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the partially covered beans for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until they are tender. 

Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Once cooked, drain the beans and set them aside.

Step 2: Sauté the Aromatics and Vegetables

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add 1 medium onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 diced carrots, and 2 diced celery stalks. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.

Step 3: Add Herbs, Tomatoes, and Tomato Paste

Tie together 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 1 sprig of fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf with kitchen twine, creating a bouquet garni. Add the bouquet garni to the pot. Stir in 1 can of diced tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 4: Simmer the Soup

Return the cooked cannellini beans to the pot with the sautéed vegetables and tomato mixture. Pour in 6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Stir occasionally.

Step 5: Adjust the Consistency (Optional)

If you prefer a smoother consistency, you can use an immersion blender or transfer a portion of the soup to a countertop blender. Blend until you reach your desired texture. Be careful when blending hot liquids. Return the blended soup back to the pot and stir well to combine.

Tips on Making Perfect Tuscan White Bean Soup

Tuscan White Bean Soup is a delicious and comforting dish from Italy’s Tuscany region. It is a hearty and flavorful soup made with cannellini beans, vegetables, and aromatic herbs. If you want to make the perfect Tuscan White Bean Soup, here are some tips to help you achieve a delicious and satisfying result.

  • Soak the Beans Overnight: One of the most important steps in making Tuscan White Bean Soup is to soak the beans overnight. This process helps to soften the beans and reduce their cooking time. Cover the beans in a large bowl with plenty of water. Allow them to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: To enhance the flavor of your Tuscan White Bean Soup, it is essential to use fresh and high-quality ingredients. Opt for fresh vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme add a fragrant aroma to the soup. Additionally, using fresh, homemade vegetable or chicken broth will elevate the taste of the soup.
  • Sauté the Vegetables: Before adding the soaked beans and broth, sautéing the vegetables can enhance the flavor profile of the Tuscan White Bean Soup. Heat some olive oil in a large pot and add chopped onions, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté them until they become tender and slightly caramelized. This process releases the natural sweetness of the vegetables and adds depth to the soup’s taste.
  • Add Aromatic Herbs and Seasonings: A key aspect of making the perfect Tuscan White Bean Soup is the addition of aromatic herbs and seasonings. Traditional Tuscan flavors include rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and sage. These herbs infuse the soup with unique aromas, making it more flavorful and enjoyable. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, ensuring a well-balanced and seasoned final dish.
  • Simmer Slowly: To develop the flavors and allow the beans to cook thoroughly, it’s important to simmer the Tuscan White Bean Soup slowly. Bring the soup to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer gently, partially covered, for about 1 to 2 hours. This slow cooking process allows the ingredients to meld together and creates a rich and hearty soup.
  • Consider Adding a Parmesan Rind: For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding a Parmesan rind to your Tuscan White Bean Soup while it simmers. The rind will slowly melt into the soup, imparting a subtle and savory taste. It adds depth and richness to the overall flavor profile of the soup.
  • Serve with Crusty Bread: Tuscan White Bean Soup pairs perfectly with crusty bread. The bread complements the soup’s texture, provides a satisfying crunch, and helps soak up the flavorful broth. Serve the soup with toasted or grilled bread slices for a complete and comforting meal.

Nutritional Benefits of Tuscan White Bean Soup

Tuscan White Bean Soup satisfies your taste buds and offers several nutritional benefits. It is a healthy and nourishing dish that balances protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

  • High in Protein: Tuscan White Bean Soup is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Cannellini beans, the main ingredient in the soup, are rich in protein, making it a suitable option for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is essential for cell repair, muscle growth, and overall health.
  • Rich in Dietary Fiber: The soup’s high fiber content is another nutritional advantage. Cannellini beans are a great source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut. Fiber also helps regulate blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, and promotes feelings of fullness, making it beneficial for weight management.
  • Packed with Vitamins and Minerals: Tuscan White Bean Soup contains an array of vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall well-being. It is particularly rich in folate, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Folate is crucial for cell function and the production of red and white blood cells. Magnesium supports bone health and regulates blood pressure. Iron is essential for oxygen transport, and potassium helps maintain proper heart and muscle function.
  • Low in Fat and Cholesterol: One of the advantages of Tuscan White Bean Soup is that it is low in fat and cholesterol. It provides a satisfying and filling meal without adding excess fat to your diet. The absence of cholesterol makes it heart-healthy and suitable for individuals aiming to manage their cholesterol levels.
  • Antioxidant Properties: The ingredients used in Tuscan White Bean Soup, such as onions, garlic, and herbs, possess antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect the body against oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and support a healthy immune system. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods is beneficial for overall health and well-being.

Tuscan White Bean Soup Is Best Served With?

Tuscan White Bean Soup is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various accompaniments. Here are some delightful options to serve with Tuscan White Bean Soup:

  • Crusty Bread: Serving Tuscan White Bean Soup with crusty bread is a classic and satisfying combination. The bread’s texture and flavor perfectly complement the soup, providing a delightful contrast.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Sprinkling some grated Parmesan cheese over the soup adds a touch of creaminess and saltiness. The nutty flavor of Parmesan enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnishing the soup with fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, not only adds visual appeal but also imparts additional freshness and aroma. The herbs elevate the flavors and provide a vibrant element to the dish.
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil enhances the richness and adds a fruity note to the Tuscan White Bean Soup. It complements the flavors and adds a luxurious touch.

Storage Tips for Tuscan White Bean Soup

If you have leftovers or want to prepare Tuscan White Bean Soup in advance, proper storage is crucial to maintain its flavor and quality. Here are some tips for storing and reheating the soup:

  • Refrigeration: Allow the soup to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. Place it in the refrigerator and consume it within 3 to 4 days. Make sure to label the container with the date to track its freshness.
  • Freezing: Tuscan White Bean Soup can also be frozen for longer-term storage. Transfer the cooled soup to freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Leave some space for expansion and seal tightly. Frozen soup can be stored for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: When reheating the soup, gently thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. Transfer it to a saucepan and heat it over low to medium heat until heated through. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Alternatively, microwave it in a microwave-safe container, stirring at intervals.
  • Adjusting Consistency: After refrigeration or freezing, the soup may thicken. If desired, adjust the consistency by adding a small amount of broth or water while reheating. This will help bring it back to the desired texture.
  • Check for Freshness: Before consuming any leftover or stored soup, ensure that it smells fresh and shows no signs of spoilage, such as an off odor or mold growth. It’s best to discard it if in doubt to avoid any potential foodborne illnesses.

Can I Use Canned Beans Instead of Soaking Them Overnight?

While canned beans are convenient, soaking dried beans overnight is recommended for the best texture and flavor in Tuscan White Bean Soup. The slow soaking process helps soften the beans and reduce their cooking time, resulting in a more satisfying soup.

Can I Customize the Vegetables in the Soup?

Feel free to customize the vegetables according to your taste preferences. You can add other vegetables like zucchini, kale, or spinach to enhance the nutritional value and add variety to the soup.

Can I Make Tuscan White Bean Soup in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can adapt the recipe for a slow cooker. After sautéing the vegetables, transfer them to a slow cooker along with the soaked beans, broth, herbs, and seasonings. Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high heat for 3 to 4 hours until the beans are tender. Adjust the cooking time according to your slow cooker’s settings.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Made with cannellini beans, vegetables, herbs, and sometimes pancetta, it offers a rich and hearty flavor. This rustic soup is known for its creamy texture and is often served with crusty bread, making it a satisfying and wholesome meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 300 kcal

Equipment

  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon or ladle
  • Knife and cutting board.
  • Can opener
  • Immersion blender or countertop blender

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups dried cannellini beans
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions
 

Step 1: Soak and Cook the Cannellini Beans

  • Rinse 2 cups of dried cannellini beans under cold water, removing any debris. Cover the beans in a large pot or Dutch oven with water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • After soaking, drain and rinse the beans again. Return them to the pot and add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer the partially covered beans for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until they are tender. 
  • Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Once cooked, drain the beans and set them aside.

Step 2: Sauté the Aromatics and Vegetables

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add 1 medium onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 diced carrots, and 2 diced celery stalks. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.

Step 3: Add Herbs, Tomatoes, and Tomato Paste

  • Tie together 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 1 sprig of fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf with kitchen twine, creating a bouquet garni.
  • Add the bouquet garni to the pot. Stir in 1 can of diced tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 4: Simmer the Soup

  • Return the cooked cannellini beans to the pot with the sautéed vegetables and tomato mixture. Pour in 6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Stir occasionally.

Step 5: Adjust the Consistency (Optional)

  • If you prefer a smoother consistency, you can use an immersion blender or transfer a portion of the soup to a countertop blender. Blend until you reach your desired texture.
  • Be careful when blending hot liquids. Return the blended soup back to the pot and stir well to combine.

Video

Keyword aromatic flavor, Diced carrots, dried rosemary, Parmesan cheese

Conclusion

Tuscan White Bean Soup is a delightful and nutritious dish that combines the simplicity of ingredients with rich flavors. By following the tips above, you can create a perfect Tuscan White Bean Soup that is comforting and satisfying. Remember to soak the beans overnight, use fresh ingredients, sauté the vegetables, and simmer the soup slowly to develop its flavors. 

Serve it with crusty bread, grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs for a complete dining experience. Proper storage and reheating techniques will help you enjoy this delicious soup, even on subsequent days. So, embrace the flavors of Tuscany and indulge in the warmth and goodness of Tuscan White Bean Soup.

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