This is the perfect warm your bones meal on a cool, springy day. The roasting of the vegetables will generate just enough heat that you won’t have to cut your furnace back on. I invited my spouse to grab our sweaters and meet me on the patio (date night?). We sat overlooking our backyard and finally reviewing the free book from the garden sale. The book led us to continue to dream about what lay in front of us- our backyard. My spouse flipped through the book. I could see his excitement growing as he rattled off tasks between spoons of soup. Pressure washing, sanding, and staining (that was just the deck). Then there was dismantling the water fountain, the continuing relocation of the hostas (my body still hurts from this project), and ripping up our grass and replacing it with beautiful blue rocks. I smiled as it felt good to be sharing a common goal. I then raised my glass and said, to Tuscan!
Tuscan Tomato-White Bean Soup
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 7 cloves garlic
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 pounds roasted tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper roasted
- 2- 15 ounce cans no-salt-added white beans, drained and rinsed (Cannellini beans , Great Northern beans or Navy beans)
- 1 quart low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 sprig rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 chicken sausages
Lay the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 40 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 3 garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent (5 minutes). Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add the roasted tomatoes, bell pepper, beans, broth, rosemary sprig, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes.
Remove cooked rosemary sprig from stems, along with about two cups of soup. Working in batches, transfer the remaining soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and add chicken sausage (obviously skip this part if you’re vegetarian) and cook another 10 minutes. Top each bowl with a healthy helping of cheese and serve with crusty bread.