Tuscan Bean Soup with Asiago Toasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound smoked turkey or chicken sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 1/4 cups chopped fennel
- 1 1/4 cups chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- two 14 1/2-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
- one 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sage
- one 19-ounce can cannellini beans, liquid reserved
- 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- 12 slices (1/2-inch-thick) baguette, cut diagonally
1.In a 6-quart saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the sausage over medium heat. Cook sausage until heated through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove sausage and drain drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan.
2.Add the fennel and onion to pan; sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
3.Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, pepper and sage. Cook 10 minutes.
4.Add cannellini beans with reserved liquid and cooked sausage. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes more.
5.Heat broiler. Mound 2 teaspoons Asiago cheese on each bread slice and place on baking sheet. Broil until cheese and bread are lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
6.Divide soup among 6 soup bowls; serve with toasts.
Some suggestions from Janet in Austin, TX - Add an extra clove of garlic with the first garlic and then a cubed yellow squash and two zucchini during the last 5 minutes of simmering. "The flavors were absolutely delicious, better than any Tuscan-style soup I have ever had." Enjoy!