It's crazy how quickly the weather changes this time of year. Just over a week ago, we spent the weekend at a soccer tournament, withering in the 100-degree heat. This past weekend was quite the opposite, with a decided chill in the morning air that had me craving a comforting hot bowl of soup.
This delicious Tuscan white bean soup is the perfect way to ease into the comfort foods of fall. It's rich and creamy, without using a drop of cream, and is packed with loads of veggies that are at their peak right now: yellow onions, carrots, celery and kale.
And my favorite part? You can have it on your table in just 30 minutes! Paired with a crusty loaf of French bread, it's a flavorful and easy weeknight meal.
Start by sautéing your aromatic vegetables (carrots, celery and onions) in a little olive oil. The goal at this point is not to brown them, just to soften them up a bit, which should take about 5 minutes. Then add the hot pepper flakes and pressed garlic, stirring constantly for an additional minute.
Next add two cans of cannellini beans (liquid and all), a quart of low-sodium chicken broth (I like the Wild Oats Organic Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth from Walmart), and the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, stir in the chopped kale leaves, and then turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
At this point you're ready to add the "secret" ingredient that makes this soup so creamy without adding cream. Take another can of cannellini beans and puree them in a blender or food processor. Add the bean puree to the simmering soup and cook for another 5 minutes to thicken it all up. Voila, creamy soup sans cream!
At this point you can season it with kosher salt and pepper and serve, or if you have a few extra minutes, let it sit for about fifteen minutes to rest. Soup is always better after it sits a bit, in my opinion!
Serve this tasty white bean soup topped with shaved Parmesan cheese, along with a nice, crusty French bread. If I have time to spare, I'll rub each slice of French bread with some cut garlic, brush both sides with olive oil, and then pop them under the broiler to toast. But if you're in a hurry, it's just as good slathered with butter!
Tip: When cooking beans in a soup, wait to season with salt until after the soup is done simmering. Adding salt while cooking will make the beans mealy.
Are you ready for fall and a comforting bowl of soup, yet?!