Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuscan Bean Soup – Cheer Up!

Our grandparents called them the winter blues, but nowadays we know this condition as Seasonal Affective Disorder; a melancholy scientifically proven to be caused by shorter, darker days. 

Since fall and winter are full of those, we’re going to need some coping strategies, and this hearty Tuscan bean soup is one of the more effective. There’s just something about that combo of smooth, silky soup, and crunchy, crispy croutons that makes everything seem okay. 

Speaking of shorter days, this recipe is also a fantastic base for creating even more substantial weeknight meals. Things like sausage, peppers, and/or maybe a handful of greens, always works in this.

I tried a new method prepping our veggies; pureeing them instead of dicing. I thought this might save time, possibly extract more flavor, and quicken the cooking. Hey, two out of three aren’t bad! It was faster than dicing, and the soup only had to simmer for 15 minutes, but I didn’t think the flavor was quite as good as the classic diced veggies method.

Either way, this soup is delicious, and guaranteed to fog up your kitchen windows. Smiley face sold separately. I really hope you give this Tuscan bean soup a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic
*As stated in the post, I prefer diced veggies to the ground ones I tried in the video, and if you do go for the traditional method and cut your vegetables in small cubes, you'll have to simmer you soup for about 30 minutes, or until they are sweet and very tender.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon picked thyme leaves
2 (15-oz) cans white kidney beans aka cannellini beans
4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
- Garnish with fresh bread cubes fried golden in olive oil, tossed with Parmigiano Reggiano, and fresh Italian parsley.


Lisa from Indiana said...

This soup cries out for...Bluetons!

Looks wonderful and I can't wait to try it this weekend.

Robin Betts said...

I have to agree with you, Chef John, I've tried it before, and grinding the vegetables ' bruises ' them, and they don't taste quite the same as they would if you started by dicing them up, for some mysterious reason.

A lot of Indian dishes start by frying a wet paste until the oil splits out.. (It's a good way to avoid burning spices, amongst other things,) but those recipes seem to be aiming at a different kind of result.

Alicia said...

Sounds delicious. Since I have made and love your White Bean and Chicken Chili I know I would love this one!

meigancam01 said...

Truly delicious and testy.
Thanks for sharing with us.

Ben Chubak said...

Awesome recipe once again Chef! After so many soup videos where you use an immersion blender I think I am willing to take the plunge and get one for myself! Do you have any recommendations on a brand/model?

Nise said...

It's a dark and rainy day here, and this is simmering on my stove right now. It smells delicious. Thanks for the recipe, Chef!

Stephanie H said...

Made the peanut curry chicken last night, and will be making this soup tonight. Excited about the crunchy bread cubes! :)

Yoshi said...

Chef John,
Do you think blue cheese would work instead Parmesan cheese on the croutons?

Dan said...

Hi Chef. How long should I simmer the soup if I use diced veggies?

Chef John said...

Just added a note to the post, you'll have to simmer you soup for about 30 minutes, or until they are sweet and very tender. Enjoy!

Chef John said...

Yes, our Bluetons recipe would work!

Chef John said...

I don't do specific recs, but the highest rated blender in your price range on Amazon should do the job very nicely.

Ben Chubak said...

Thanks Chef, I'll do some Amazon snooping!

Unknown said...

If we dice the veggies first, do we transfer them to a blender once all have been cooked through and then complete the recipe in the same fashion?

Andy Zwright said...

I loved, wife loved it, kids loved it. We loved it.

Samanthiah said...

Made this today and just switched the chicken broth for veggie broth. It was delicious! I will definitely make it again. :)

Bill said...

Super recipe, super easy. I added sliced Italian sausage and it turned out great. I think I might try it with some goat cheese next time.

Marieluquis said...

Wow Chef John! It was just as you said!! The crutons was the best part! I will make this every week. Thank you so much for all of this delicious recipes ; )

mr. webster said...

I really liked the lemon in it. I put one shake of cayenne in and it was so hot it made my nose run, but I liked it. Thanks for years of great recipes Chef John. You make our lives better with all of them and your videos are helpful and make us all laugh. Happy Holidays