Tuscan Vegetable Soup

by Liz on February 19, 2012

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

A.K.A. The healthiest thing I have ever made or eaten. For whatever reason, February is the time of year where I decide it’s time to make healthy changes. While I have no intention of turning this into a diet/healthy eating blog, you may from time to time see some recipes here that are a bit more health conscious. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten the word “butter” is in the blog’s title. I guess I’m just looking for a bit more balance in my life, and luckily, the scale is starting to reflect that a little bit.

Kale! Vegetables
Stir the pot white beans

For you vegetable soup lovers, this is an easy soup to add to your repertoire. It comes together quickly, and makes for a satisfying light lunch. It’s easily adaptable if you want to choose different ingredients. I swapped out spinach for kale, for example. I also like it because it’s low-calorie at 140 calories per 1 & 1/2 cup serving, which leaves me some wiggle room for when I want to make brownie pudding.

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Tuscan Vegetable Soup
Adapted from Elie Krieger

Note: Use whatever herbs you think will taste good in the soup. The original called for thyme and sage, but I know some people don’t like certain herbs. I think Herbs de Provence or some kind of Italian herb blend would be fine. Also, there is very little salt in this recipe, so you may choose to add more.

Ingredients:

1 can (15 oz.) of no-salt added canellini beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Half of a large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 small carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium or 2 small zucchini diced (about 1 & 1/2 cups)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried thyme (optional)
2 teaspoons dried sage (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
32 ounces low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (15 oz.) no-salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped kale
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preparation:

In a small bowl, mash half of the canellini beans with a fork and set aside. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat, then add the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, salt, pepper, and herbs, cooking for about 5 minutes and stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic, cooking for another 30 seconds to 1-minute until you can really smell the garlic. Add the broth, tomatoes with their juice, kale and bring to a boil. Add the mashed beans and the remaining whole beans, and reduced to medium-low, simmering for another 10 minutes until soup has thickened a bit, and the kale is cooked. Serve with a little grated parmesan.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

KB March 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Ah I see, and that gives me some good ideas since I don’t like peppers either unless they’re really hidden in some larger mix (i.e. salsa). I guess I just rarely think of zucchini when cooking/shopping because we never ate it growing up, but every time I have it as an adult now I love it - so definitely need to start experimenting!

Liz February 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm

KB: That’s funny b/c I probably cook with zucchini more than any other vegetable. It’s one of my favorites, and since I don’t like red peppers or mushrooms very much, it’s what I usually use in their place.

switchblade February 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

all of your food always looks so delicious. when i try stuff like this though, it never looks as appetizing.

Maureen February 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

What a gorgeous soup. I could eat a bowl of that right now. deliciousness!

KB February 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Ooo, the kale and beans reminds me of one of my favorite soups (http://beezersbites.com/2010/03/29/hearty-kale-and-kielbasa-soup/) but looks much easier! I’ve also been trying to figure out how to get some more zucchini in my diet (I like it but rarely cook with it) so this looks perfect. Thanks for sharing! :)

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