As we move toward the start of winter we also move into one of the most hectic times of the year. With the holidays right around the corner we are all a little too busy to spend the time making the slow-cooked, warm, and comforting dishes that we are also craving this time of year. I mean, who has time to stand in front of the stove and stir a pot of sauce for an hour?
In the end it’s usually fast food, canned soup, or some other prepackaged conglomeration that helps us get through, but those options are really lacking in imagination and are typically not on the healthy side. Which can end up leaving us feeling less than satisfied. That’s why we turn to quick and easy recipes like this Tuscan Bean Soup.
This whole soup comes together in less than half an hour, which is ideal for the fast pace of the season. It’s also warm, comforting, and packed with healthy vegetables that will give you the energy to get through.
The base of the soup is a simple vegetable broth and cannellini beans. Carrots, celery, and onion are the aromatics that boost the flavor along with the various Tuscan-style herbs. The kale is a great seasonal addition that adds color and texture.
To add a little more depth and comfort to the dish we added garlic parmesan croutons. These croutons can be made up to a week in advance and used in other soups or salads as well. They are the cheesy, crunchy addition that really brings this dish to a new level of comfort food.
Take the few minutes to make this soup when you’re feeling frazzled and we promise you will not be disappointed with the results. Both you and your family with be glad you did.
Tuscan Bean Soup with Garlic Parmesan Croutons
- 2 cups cubed (3/4 inches) Italian bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 medium to large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 4 cups chopped kale
- Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the cubed bread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder, parsley, and salt over the bread crumbs. Toss well to coat.
Spread the cubes evenly on the pan and place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stir the bread cubes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large thick-bottomed sauce pan heat the remaining oil over medium high heat and sauté onion until it becomes translucent (about 1-2 minutes).
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding carrot and celery. Cook for another minute before adding broth, basil, rosemary, oregano, and bay leaf.
Bring to a simmer and add beans and kale. Cook, stirring regularly, until the kale turns dark green and beans are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Adjust seasoning and serve warm, with croutons on top.