The more you learn the world cuisine, the more you notice similarities of many dishes. Scotch Vegetable Soup, Russian Cabbage Soup (Schi), and Tuscan Bean Soup – they all share common ingredients and often cooking methods.
In the wonderful and hearty Tuscan Been Soup I used canned beans in order to simplify the cooking process but not the taste.
Collard greens, white cabbage, kale, Savoy cabbage, Swiss chard, and spinach – all are welcome in this soup. Sometimes I like to add zucchini chunks for more texture. Fresh or canned tomatoes also could be also added – this is really up to you. For meat lovers Italian sausages should be a great flavorful addition.
The bowl of Tuscan Bean Soup is a very simple, yet flavorful and satisfying – an excellent dish for the end of summer or beginning of autumn.
Tuscan Bean Soup
- 1 large potato or 2 medium, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped or sliced
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 12 oz white cabbage, Savoy cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens
- 2-3-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can white beans (15 oz), drained
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1-2 tsp fresh finely chopped rosemary (or ½ tsp dried)
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or fresh parsley)
- Black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 – 2 ½ quarts of chicken or vegetable stock or water
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 30-45 seconds.
Add the carrots, celery, and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cabbage, bay leaf, dried herbs (if using dried), salt and pepper. Pour the stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes.
Add the beans and fresh herbs (if using fresh). Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Let the soup stand for 10 minutes to develop flavors or serve it next day.
If you are using water instead of a stock, adjust the amount of spices, you may want to add some ground celery, dried parsley, ground coriander, etc. for more aromatic soup.
Cook with pleasure!