Last night, as happens most nights, my husband called me on his way home from work. And, as happens most nights, he asked what was for dinner. “Tuscan bean soup!” I responded. I then followed up quickly, “And salad. And garlic bread.” Because as much as a steaming bowl of soup filled with beans and tomatoes sounds like a fantastic dinner to me, I have to admit that I was a bit concerned about how this meal would go over. I’ve mentioned before that my husband hasn’t always been the most adventurous eater. But if he’s living with me, some nights he is just going to get vegan deliciousness.
When he got home, he said that everything smelled good. And it did. I’d spent the afternoon making vegetable stock and the garlic and onions sauteing in the pot just added to the aroma. Once the soup was ready, it’s flavor absolutely lived up to that aroma. The variety of beans gave a nice depth of flavor, as opposed to a flatter variation using only one type. And by pureeing some of the soup you get a creamy mouth feel without having to add anything. My personal favorite part is the subtle tang added by the balsamic vinegar. It certainly isn’t overpowering, but it does give the soup a unique flavor that differentiates it from a plain old bean soup.
And my husband’s reaction? He devoured it. I didn’t need to be worried. The only thing he didn’t like was having to wash our crazy-heavy cast iron dutch oven. Maybe I’m turning him into a veg-lover yet…
Tuscan Bean Soup
Adapted from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tuscan-chickpea-soup
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp Bavarian spice blend (or, substitute rosemary and thyme)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Pecorino Romano Cheese, optional for serving
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and spice blend and sauté until fragrant.
- Stir in vegetable stock, tomatoes, beans, salt, and pepper. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, use an immersion blender to pureeing soup to desired consistency (I like to leave a good amount of chunks). Alternatively, place soup a few cups at a time into a food processor and puree, then stir back into the bean mixture.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, raise heat, and bring to a boil.
- Serve hot, with extra vinegar or cheese.