A Deliciously Tasty Tuscan White Bean Soup Recipe

When I want something warm hearty, but simple to make, I turn to Tuscan white bean soup that is filled with some of my favorite beans. Many times, I have a lot of these ingredients on hand, and I make this recipe to fit my own preferences. It also makes a lot of soup for just a little bit, making it one of the most cost-effective options.

Tuscan white bean soup is a favorite soup that you will find in restaurants and in homes everywhere that want something simple yet decadent. I also like to make this when I’m not feeling like eating meat or planning to serve some of my vegetarian friends who think I make the best version of this soup.

History of Tuscan White Bean Soup

As the name would suggest, this soup is based out of Italy, and was a humble home dish when protein was scarce and dried white beans from the area were plentiful. This Tuscan white bean soup was meant to feed the large families that lived in these Italian homes, and the recipe could be tweaked to make as much or as little as the family preferred.

This was also one of the recommended dishes to serve during times of fasting and for those who decide to take on a lifestyle without meat. Today, this soup can be made with vegan ingredients or vegetarian, depending on diet preferences.

Gathering Your Ingredients

While you may have most of these ingredients in your pantry, you may still need to take a quick trip to the supermarket. When I build my famous Tuscan white bean soup, I use the following:

  • Two tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Two medium diced onions, white or yellow
  • Three chopped carrots
  • Two chopped celery ribs
  • Four cans of Cannellini beans
  • One cup of kale
  • One cup of spinach
  • One cup of white wine
  • Six cups of vegetable broth
  • One tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • One teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • Two bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

You can make some substitutions, like using chicken broth, if you don’t have vegan diners in your group. I have two vegetarians who enjoy this dish, but we think the veggie broth gives it a better flavor. I also opt for low-sodium options when I have it.

If you prefer spinach to kale, you can substitute the kale for an extra cup of spinach or vice versa. I like to mix if I am cooking for my family, but when I have a dinner party and this dish is on the menu, I use only kale because I have a person in my group who has almost an intolerance to a lot of spinach.

If you want to add white wine to this soup, use your favorite version. I like the drier wines because they combine the different seasonings and they aren’t too sweet. Also, if you do not have and cannellini beans in your pantry or market, you can easily sub out Great Northern Beans or Garbanzo beans. I have used both, or even a blend of these two beans as a way to make your soup as hearty as possible.

Build Your Soup

This is one of the fasting cooking soups I make, and it only takes a little bit of prep work and then a large soup pot to cook it all together.

1. Prep Your Veggies

Before you start cooking, you need to dice up your onions, celery, and carrots for this soup. Wash the carrots and celery down first, then dice them into similar pieces. You also want to rinse out your greens and let them dry off.

You don’t have to chop them unless you have large leaves because they will wilt down in the pot. If you are using kale, make sure to remove the stems first.

2. Do a Little Saute

In your large soup pot, make sure that you add in your olive oil and turn your burner to medium heat. After a minute or two, add in your diced onions and your minced garlic to get fragrant. They are at the core of seasoning the soup and need extra time to elevate those flavors.

I like to keep stirring so that my garlic roasts without burning.

3. Add in Veggies and Wine

Now it is time to add in that cup of white wine and the diced up celery and carrots. This liquid will help with softening the veggies and getting them tender. Give them about five minutes to cook, turning occasionally.

4. Beans, Broth and Seasonings

Now, it is time to add to the heart of the soup. Dump your cans of beans directly into the soup pot, followed by all your seasonings and then your broth on top. Turn your burner to medium-high, and let’s boil the soup. Once your soup starts boiling, make sure you cover it and set your timer for 15 minutes. This will let the beans and the veggies cook down to a delicious tenderness.

5. Add Your Greens

The last step is to add your greens to your soup. First, fish out your bay leaves and toss them. They will be hard to find among the kale and spinach in your soup.

Once they are out, dump your greens directly into the soup and cover it again for at least five minutes. You can let it simmer for 10 minutes, but not much later because they will have already wilted down.

Serve and Store

Now that your soup is ready, turn off your burner and ladle this delicious soup into bowls. If you have any leftovers, feel free to refrigerate or even freeze the leftovers once it has cooled. They can sit in the fridge for up to four days and the freezer for three months before they lose their texture.

Toppings For Your Soup

Now, because this is a hearty dish, I often pair it with a salad and allow my guests to top off their soup to fit their preferences. I like to lay out the following toppings:

  • Hot sauce
  • Parmesan
  • Bacon bits
  • Cubed ham
  • Freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cayenne pepper

I have a group of diners who want things to be spicy, salty, cheesy, or all of the above. This is why I lay out all the different toppings available for this soup. Many of these toppings are also a part of the salad that is paired with the soup, so they will add as much or as little, and it is easy to have these toppings available.

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