Zuppa di Fagioli

Another Tuscan traditional recipe that doesn't have refined white flour at the core. Processed cannelini beans are extremely smooth and creamy. I also added barley as a substitute for farro, and just a little cooking sherry at the end. This soup is nice with a simple salad and crusty bread.

Photo by Colleen D.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2

    cup dried cannellini beans

  • 1/2

    cup dried borlotti beans (aka cranberry beans)

  • 6

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 1

    small red onion, chopped

  • 5

    garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1

    leek, cleaned and chopped

  • 1

    celery rib, chopped

  • 1

    medium carrot, finely chopped

  • 1

    (14 ounce) can plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped

  • 1

    (32 ounce) container low sodium vegetable broth

  • 1

    bunch kale, preferably black palm, stemmed and coarsely chopped

  • 2

    sprigs rosemary, chopped

  • 4

    sprigs thyme, chopped

  • 2

    tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • salt and pepper

Directions

Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse. Heat 3T of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Add half the rosemary, half the thyme, all of the parsley, all of the vegetable broth, and the chopped plum tomatoes with the juice from the can. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the beans. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 2 hours or until the beans are soft. If the soup gets too thick, add a little water to thin it. If you have a hand-held blender, process until about half of the beans are smooth. Otherwise transfer half of the soup to a blender and process. Pour the puree back into the soup pot, add salt and pepper to taste, and then add the chopped kale. Cook for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a microwave safe small bowl, add the remaining 3T olive oil, the rest of the chopped rosemary and thyme, and microwave on high for about 1 minute. When the soup is done, drizzle the olive oil mixture on top. Serve with a rustic bread and (if you eat cheese) grated parmesan. Notes: When using dried beans, the cooking times can vary widely depending on how old the beans are. Younger beans might be done in an hour. Older beans could take 3 hours. So keep your eye on the soup! Pinto is a good substitute for Borlotti, Kidney is not quite as close. Great Northern will do for Cannelini. To substitute canned beans, use 1-15oz can of Cannellini Beans and 1-15oz can of Borlotti beans. You'll also need to adjust the cooking time: Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, puree, add the Kale, and simmer for another 20 minutes.

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