This soup is a variation of the Tuscan bean soups from the Tuscany region of Italy. Along with cooked white beans, I made it with onion, carrots, celery, garlic, farro, ripe tomatoes and tomato pulp, herbs and lots of fresh spinach.
To keep it all tasty and Mediterranean, I sautéed the vegetables, herbs and farro in extra virgin olive oil and then added nutritional yeast (or grated Parmesan) as well as some white wine vinegar. One bowl with crusty bread is a complete healthy meal.
The Mediterranean diet, known as the “Sunshine cuisine”, is one of the world’s healthiest. People who follow this type of diet are less prone to developing diseases such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers.
The recipe is below.
Tuscan Bean Soup
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 tablespoons (tbsp) olive oil, extra virgin
- 2 medium-size (or one large) cooking onions, diced
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 2-3 celery ribs, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, grated
- Herbs: 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) dry oregano, 1 sprig rosemary or 1 tsp dry, 1 bay leaf
- Ground pepper & salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup farro or brown rice
- 7 cups veggie broth, homemade or a good quality low sodium store-bought kind
- 11/2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes + their juices, diced * (see note)
- 1 cup tomato pulpe
- About 800 gr white beans, cooked (pre-soaked and boiled or two X 400 gr cans/tins/jars)
- 2 tbsps nutritional yeast (or grated parmesan)
- 2 tbsps white wine vinegar
- 3-4 cups baby spinach leaves
- Add later on: 2 to 4 cups of water as soup thickens
- Garnish: fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
* Note: If you cannot find fresh, ripe tomatoes in stores, use canned or jarred tomatoes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, grated garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Lower heat and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the dry farro (or brown rice) and sauté for 2 minutes.
4. Add the veggie broth, tomatoes with their juices + tomato pulp and nutritional yeast. Mix well.
5. Add the beans and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer and with lid half on, allow to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until farro is tender.
6. When farro is tender, add the baby spinach in handfuls and the white wine vinegar. Mix until the spinach is wilted.
7. Serve in deep bowls with fresh parsley, ground pepper and crusty bread on the side. Store leftovers in a sealed container in fridge. The soup will thicken with time, so go ahead and add a few cups of water.