Tuscan Bean Soup
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes • Serves: 6
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (15.5 ounces each) reduced sodium chickpeas, red kidney beans and/or white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups canned tomato purée
1/2 cup packed chopped escarole or fresh spinach
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
1.In large saucepot, cook bacon over medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add bay leaf, carrots, celery and onion; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cover and cook 30 seconds or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally.
2.Stir in beans, stock and tomato purée; cover and heat to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add escarole; cook 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf; stir in lemon juice and pepper. Makes about 9 cups.
3.Serve soup sprinkled with cheese garnished with parsley, if desired.
Approximate nutritional values per serving:
305 Calories, 6g Fat (2g Saturated), 17mg Cholesterol,
681mg Sodium, 45g Carbohydrates, 12g Fiber, 21g Protein
For a vegetarian version: In step 1, omit the bacon; cook the vegetables and bay leaf in 1 tablespoon olive oil, and continue with step 1. In step 2, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.