Not that I can still manage to follow any recipe perfectly, however, but he just needs to know I used one. [Bonus: I actually am working my way through the pile of magazine rippings and bookmarked links that accumulates ever-so-rapidly.]
This recipe was from a Fitness Magazine article about the joys of eating vegetables, although I later learned the recipe was (not very clearly labeled as) Mark Bittman‘s.
Regardless, now that I had ascertained through the incredible success of the Tuscan Bean Soup from Wanderlust Kitchen (the Professor actually ate leftovers!) that The Professor’s statement of “I don’t eat beans” was completely untrue, I figured another bean soup, also based in the Tuscan tradition, was the way to go.
….and stale bread.*
The best thing about this–aside from the warmth and comfort you feel from eating it–is how easy it is to make. You don’t even have to chop the tomatoes,* as they cook down into the stew superbly.
I only made a few adjustments to the original recipe, using dried herbs, adding some red pepper flakes (crucial), and stirring in a nice bit of Parmesan at the end of the simmering process (also crucial).
The Professor went back for seconds.
And he may have said something to the effect of “I’m never breaking up with you because of this stew.”
Adapted from Mark Bittman
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 3/4 cup celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 whole, peeled roma tomatoes from a 28-oz. can (or on 15-oz. can), with juices*
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 Tbsp, Worcestershire sauce
- 5 oz. frozen chopped spinach (1/2 block)*
- 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- salt + pepper, to taste
- 4 slices whole grain bread, toasted (for serving)
- Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
- Cook 5 minutes or so, until softened and fragrant.
- Add beans, tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the pot, stirring well.
- Cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add broth and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, and add spinach to the pot.
- Cover and simmer at least 20 minutes (but up to an hour) until celery is tender and beans are soft, stirring every so often and breaking up tomatoes.
- Prior to serving, stir in Parmesan cheese and simmer until melted.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Place toast in bowls and spoon stew on top.
*Note: I saved the spinach and remaining tomatoes and made the soup again a few days later. You could also easily double the recipe and have a bigger batch. It just tastes better the longer it’s in the fridge.