It’s been snowing non-stop, since early morning. It’s CoOOolD out there!
Having come back from a long day I could think of nothing better to warm up with than one of my favorite Tuscan soups:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- water, as needed
- 14 oz canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock *
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 lb 2 oz kale (preferably Tuscan kale**, if you can find it!), trimmed and sliced
- 1 small day or two old ciabatta loaf (substitute any flat bread, if you can’t find the ciabatta, torn into small pieces)
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin oil, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions, carrots, and celery for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables are golden and caramelized.
- Add the white beans to the pan and pour in the tomatoes. Add enough of water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20minutes. Add the parsley and Tuscan kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Stir in the bread and add a little more water, as needed. The soup should be thick.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Ladle into warmed serving bowls and serve hot, drizzled with extra virgin oil.
Try this soup and you’ll understand the true meaning of comfort food!
* Vegetable Stock
Yield: 8 1/2 cups
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or corn oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped leek
- 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots
- 4 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fennel
- 1 small tomato, finely chopped
- 10 cups water
- 1 bouquet garni
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining vegetables, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the water and bouquet garni, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes,
- Strain the stock into a bowl, let cool, cover and store in the refrigerator. use immediately or freeze in portions for up to 3 months.
Be warned, once you’ve tasted Tuscan kale, you’ll find it hard to go back to the more easily available variety.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!