Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard


I had this for breakfast.


I even had to fight the cat for it.


These days I am immersed in the exploits of the Polar explorer/physicist/mathematician Otto Schmidt.



While forging a new trade route, his ship - the Chelyuskin got mired in ice and sank - stranding 100 passengers (including women and babies born on board) on an iceberg for three months. I bet he would have liked some of this soup. 

It is ten degrees out and the temps are only going down. The arctic air is here - Minnesota's meteorologists are thrilled - proclaiming the first polar air of the season. Minnesota's meteorologists are a decidedly odd bunch. 


The soup hails from Tuscany via Cooking Light. You don't need a blast of arctic air to enjoy it. This will warm the cockles of your heart. And come together in 30-40 minutes. What more do you want? Grab a pot and start cooking.

Tuscan Bean Soup with Swiss Chard - adapted from Cooking Light Magazine* (Serves 4)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow or white onion chopped
5 garlic cloves - minced
2 cups vegetable broth (for vegan or vegetarian) can use chicken broth
1 cup water
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2-15 ounce cans cannellini beans (rinsed)
1 1-2 ounce Parmesan rind (omit if Vegan - it adds substance but is also good without)
2 chopped carrots
1 bunch Swiss Chard - chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt - optional - the rind adds salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons freshly shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish (again, omit if vegan)

*Consider using kale or spinach. Cooking Light used escarole. Mix up the beans - the seasonings. Add or subtract onions. Use shallots instead or all garlic - consider the list of ingredients a guide.


Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add broth, water, rosemary, beans, Parmesan rind and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes - until the carrot is tender and all is winningly combined. Stir in Swiss Chard (or other greens) and simmer for ten more minutes. Stir in red pepper, salt (if using), black pepper and vinegar. Remove rind. Serve, with shaved Parmesan.

Keep away from cat.

It has color, varied textures and magical properties as all soups do. And you don't need to be stranded on an iceberg to enjoy it.

43 comments:

Aarthi said...

What a awesome recipe...Delicious dear..

Aarthi
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

Katherine Aucoin said...

Your soup looks like a warm hug in a bowl. I like that you used swiss chard for that extra soemthing.

Judy said...

This is my kind of soup and perfect for the frigid weather we're having today.

Wanda..... said...

Haven't made a white bean soup in quite while, it was one of the grandkid's favorite when they were little ones! Must make it again soon, thanks for the reminder, Claudia.

SKIP TO MALOU said...

I cannot imagine being stranded on an iceberg but I can imagine myself slurping this tuscan white bean soup. It is definitely something I am familiar with that is comforting and soothing esp this cold and grey weather here in STL, which as a former Cali girl is all new to me.
Keep yourself warm and toasty...
have a happy day,
malou

Tina said...

I do not have any plan to jump on a cruise ship bound for the artic, I will just be a landlubber with your tasty soup! Your soup does look inviting and italian soups are my first choice in the soup class. Chicken noodle does not compare to this delicious creation. Great recipe.

Torviewtoronto said...

looks fabulous deliciously done

Pegasuslegend said...

Oh my goodness you know how much I love greens and beans, here is another one I adore. Everyday I can eat this lovely soup and you my dear made it perfect... I think we need to move closer!

Kathy said...

I'm constantly complaining about being cold...can't imagine being stuck with no shelter in such a cold place. Those were hearty people! Such a lovely soup...and so nice for a very cold day!

Mister Meatball said...

I insist that you grow your own cannelinis this summer.

If I can do it in Maine, you can do it there.

As you were.

Claudia said...

Mister Meatball: Ordered cannellini beans from Grow Italy.

Susan Lindquist said...

Yum! We, too, had white bean soup this week ... with the kale and I slipped sausage into it as well! Yours looks delectable! It certainly is soup weather!

Lyndsey said...

Yum I like your version of this soup. Even though we are to reach 78 degrees today, I would like a bowl of this soup. I always sneak some greens in my soups and stews and even lasagne! Stay warm!!

Anne said...

Soup for breakfast? I can understand when the weather is 10 degrees.
Hope the soup warmed you up!

Cucina49 said...

The photo with the cat is priceless! I had to fight to keep the cat away from the chicken I made the other night. The soup looks awesome--I have some lacinato kale in the fridge that would be perfect in this.

Marina said...

Yes, that's a good one. I can have soup for breakfast, lunch, and then dinner, no problem with that. This looks soooo warm and delicious!

Catherine said...

Dear Claudia, I guess I can't complain about the temps. It is not as cold as Minn. here in NY, but is definitely cold enough here for me!! I just dive into soups this time of year. They are healthy and delish. I love your Tuscan Bean soup and why not for breakfast. Your cat is adorable and smart.
Blessings for a beautiful day. Catherine xo

Rebecca Subbiah said...

lovely soup love the cat

Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

What a great soup recipe, perfect for the winter months! :)

Norma Chang said...

Great soup for this time of year. Planning to plant more kale, chard and collard this year.

Lizzy said...

What a delicious soup, Claudia! I have a feeling it would go over a lot better than the lentil soup I forced upon the family this past week :/ I'm happily eating ALL the leftovers!

BTW, I went to Iowa for my nursing degree...met Bill there and had our first two children while we were in Iowa City. What will your daughter study in grad school? (you've probably mentioned it, but my brain is a sieve these days!)

The Mom Chef said...

It looks amazing. I have been considering making this. Hope you survive this cold spell!

Reeni said...

I can't think of a better breakfast on a cold, winter day! It's begging me to make it! One of my favorites. My cat will try to get at it too.

Mary said...

I love the French and Italian bean soups of winter. They are hearty and delicious and yours is an excellent specimen. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

Lynda said...

I love this type of soup; healthy and warming and also delicious. This is perfect for a cold weather day. Glad we're not standed on an iceberg! :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love reading about those arctic explorers and can't imagine the fear that overcame them (and cold) being stranded there. This soup looks great - and I make something almost identical when I've got an abundance of swiss chard - then freeze it for the winter months.

Angie's Recipes said...

I need more soups! It has been raining here and a healthy and warming soup is exactly what I love!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Heehee you have to fight the cat for the soup!!! So cute. I haven't had a chance to cok swiss chard before. It seems like putting in a soup is the best option. I love your soup. Really light and healthy!

Bo said...

Breakfast??? Well I could eat soup any time of day too. I didn't know cats liked soup...lol

Natasha Price said...

I could actually eat a bowl right now for breakfast, it's sooo cold!

Kristen said...

Seeings I woke up to ice on my windshield and the car doors frozen shut (in FLORIDA!!), I feel like I have been shipwrecked on an iceberg! I am ready for a nice warm bowl of soup like this.

The Food Hunter said...

will be making this for sure...thanks for sharing.

Laurie said...

Last weekend my dh asked for minestrone.. this is what he's getting this weekend!! A yummy Sunday bowl of soup. I giggled when you mentioned in the comment you left for me about shuddering.. I live in sunny california and I shudder at 60 degree temps.. although when I woke up this morning it was in the low 20's..
This Philie girl has been away from the East coast too long!

And Claudia.. I want you to know that I always look forward to your comments.. It's like looking forward to the playwrights word's.. but just for me! xoxo

Beth said...

Your soup looks wonderful. Anything with white beans is guaranteed to be great. I shivered when I read the story of the passengers stranded on an iceberg for three months. I am not a Minnesotan meteorologist, and I'll take warm weather any day!

beti said...

hahaha your cat is so cute and I can imagine how good this soup was

beti said...

hahaha your cat is so cute and I can imagine how good this soup was

Island Vittles said...

This looks delicious! We just had our snowfall of the year yesterday. I took the dog out for an early walk in the virgin stuff, and then came back for a nice big bowl of soup for my breakfast too! I shared a little of it with him...but not too much. ;) Theresa

Miri Leigh said...

This soup looks perfect for the winter season. Thanks for posting!

Miri Leigh said...

This soup looks perfect for the winter season. Thanks for posting!

Jeannie said...

The type of soup that will warm a person's body without adding too much calories, nice and healthy:) No wonder even the cat wants some!

Joanne said...

Unfortunately, I HAVE a blast of the arctic whether I need it or not...and so this soup sounds like it's definitely in order!

sophiesfoodiefiles said...

I love comfort & good for you soups like this one!

MMMMMM,..great & tasty too! :)
Have a great & warm weekend!

Barbara GF said...

I could crawl into this bowl of soup, Claudia, even though it was near 50 degrees here in the Hudson Valley today. Soup is good in any weather, but there's nothing like "warm in winter." One of my cats always tries to nose into the picture, too. :)