Fall has arrived, with its chilly temps, crisp air and warm earth-toned foliage. With Fall comes the long-awaited arrival of hearty fare, like soups and stews.
This past weekend I had a craving for soup. I scanned the pantry and fridge to see what I could whip up. As luck would have it, I had the makings for a Tuscan White Bean Soup.
Keep in mind, I don't like exact recipes, I am cheating here by using canned beans and I have improvised by adding a few little touches of my own.
It may not be the traditional, authentic Tuscan recipe, but it's close and it was tasty just the same.
Tuscan White Bean Soup
good olive oil
a couple of carrots,chopped
a few stalks of celery, chopped
a small white onion, chopped
clove of garlic, minced
three tomatoes, chopped
can of white beans, rinsed and drained
several red swiss chard leaves roughly chopped
heel of parmigiano cheese
fresh thyme leaves
1 vegetable bullion cube dissolved in 4 cups boiling water
salt and pepper
In a large dutch oven, heat a generous amount of olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add carrots and celery, cook until softened. Add garlic, cook for another few minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the 4 cups of bullion infused water to the pot, add the bay leaf and heel of parmigiano to the pot, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add chard, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes or so, just until the chard is wilted.
Ladle into bowls and serve with chunks of country bread.
** Cooks note: If you add chunks of country bread to the soup, let it rest overnight and reheat the next day, you will have yourself a Ribollita- which is another Tuscan classic.
What are some of your classic fall favorite soups?