Soup à la Tuscany

A hearty Italian bean soup, paired with bread and a salad, will transport you to Italy.

by Jean Hecker

When the season changes and the cold weather rolls in, there is nothing better than a hot, steaming bowl of soup. I like the traditional tomato soup with a sandwich for lunch but for dinner, I like to try something heartier. Here is a soup recipe that is very easy to put together and is ready in no time. It’s hearty and satisfying and perfect for a winter’s night. All you need is a salad and a chunk of Italian bread and you will think that you’re in Tuscany.

Italian Bean Soup with Pasta
3 tbsp. good EVOO
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 16 1/2 oz. cans of Roman beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 piece Parmaesan cheese rind
4 or 5 oz. package of fresh papperdelle or tagliatelle
Salt and black pepper

In medium saucepan, saute onions and carrots until soft in heated olive oil.Add garlic and tomato paste and stir until paste darkens, about three minutes.

Add beans, Parmaesan rind, rosemary and five cups water, 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat until beans are softened, about 10 minutes.

Off heat, remove rind and use either an immersion blender or regular blender to process until creamy but not completely broken down. Return to heat, add fresh pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is done.

Serve in big bowls with a swirl of EVOO and a grating of Parmaesan cheese. I like to also sprinkle my bowl with red pepper flakes. n

Jean Hecker has a BA in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.

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Food for Thought