As our One-Pot Blogger Party ends, we conclude with a hearty pot of Tuscan White Bean Soup—with soup, there is always enough for everyone.
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe is one of the recipes we are allowed to share in full, so I couldn’t pass up making a pot at home too. In a house full of carnivores it was hard to imagine making bean soup without ham or smoked turkey, but I wanted to stay as close to the original as possible.
Uncertain as I was about the lemon component of this soup, it worked! It subtly blended into the background of the broth brightening other savories as well as the broccoli just a bit.
I highly recommend cannellini beans—a larger, plump white bean with a creamy texture—and as with any soup, homemade stock is ideal for the base.
I hope you’ve been saving your Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rinds (I have extra if you live close-by) it is a wonderful flavor boost. Of course, shaved Parmesan to top it off is good too!
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups small-diced onion
- 1 cup small-diced celery
- 1 cup small-diced red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 pounds dried white beans (cannellini, baby lima, or great Northern), rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained
- 1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind , about 1 × 3 inches
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups water
- 1 ½ pounds broccoli rabe , tough stem ends trimmed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese , finely grated (about 1 ½ cups)
- Extra-virgin olive oil , for drizzling
- Heat the olive oil in an 8-quart soup pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, dried Italian herbs, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the stock, beans, Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and water and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to simmer gently and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 45 to 60 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 1 cup of the beans from the pot to a small bowl and mash them with the back of a spoon. Return the mashed beans to the soup and add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and continue to cook, uncovered, until the broth thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining black pepper, the broccoli rabe, and rosemary sprig and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove the Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and rosemary sprig and discard them. Serve the soup in wide, shallow bowls, garnished with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
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