Tuscan Bean Soup

I just love soup. My parents will be laughing at me, if they read this. While I was growing up, every weekend we would have soup for lunch in the winter. It was very wholesome soup, usually pea and ham, vegetable, or occasionally tinned tomato soup. The soup was usually made with the Kings soup mix, and was full of barley. For some reason I did not like the barley in the soup, and at the time I was put off soup for life! The barley used to sit at the bottom of the bowl, just looking at me. It was ugly, tasteless, and what was the point of the barley? I am guessing the barley made the soup thicker.

Of course, now I am all grown up, I can see how fabulous soup is. I still don’t like barley, but I’m quite happy to have lentils instead. I love making soup myself now and eating it too. It’s one of the those feel good meals, especially on a cold day. Soup for me can be a meal, and I especially love it for lunch at work, with some lovely bread. Lovely fleshly bread such as ciabatta, or even toast will do. Over the next few weeks I will share with you some of my favourite soups.

The past few days I have been suffering from a cold virus. I have had to take it easy, and stay out of the kitchen so that I don’t spread my germs. Yesterday, I couldn’t stop myself any longer, it was time to hit the kitchen again, and make myself some nourishing soup. They say that chicken noodle soup is the best recovery for a  cold, so that will be the next one on my list of soups.

I found this recipe from the Food(town) Magazine a couple of years ago.

TUSCAN BEAN SOUP

3-4 Tbsp olive oil

1-2 sticks celery, finely diced

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp finely chopped rosemary

2 cups vegetable stock

420g can mixed beans

420g can cannellini beans

freshly ground pepper

parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the finely diced onion, carrots and celery. Stir in the rosemary, garlic and bay leaf. Saute for 10-15minutes until golden.

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Pour over the vegetable stock. Stir in the rinsed, drained beans, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste.

Serve in bowls, and top with grated parmesan cheese.

A nice addition to finish, is also to top with crispy fried bacon.

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