Easy Tuscan Bean Soup Recipe – The Earthy Soup from Tuscany

Easy Tuscan Bean Soup Recipe – The Earthy Soup from Tuscany

I don’t know whether it’s a kick back from the childhood days or whether it’s just a thing with me but I love beans – especially cannellini beans and Tuscan bean soup leaves me weak at the knees.

There’s no single recipe for it and I’ve come across dozens in my life, eventually settling for one basic that I adapt every time I make soup and that’s quite often. Luckily all my children are rather partial  to both bean salad and bean soup so there’s never been any complaints when I make it and all of them have killer variations of their own.

The most important thing about this soup is the soffritto so make sure it’s done correctly – it adds the flavor that makes the soup. This recipe is my own an is a tad unusual in that I add a little lemon zest; however, I believe it makes a huge difference to the soup – so if you hate lemon, do leave it out.

If you find yourself in a hurry and don’t have time to soak the beans overnight, you can cook this recipe in a slow cooker, just cook the soup on slow for 4 hours.

Easy Tuscan Bean Soup

This recipe is so easy to make that everybody can enjoy a comforting soup in very little time.

Soup Ingredients

  • 700 g dried cannellini beans
  • 200 g dried borlotti beans
  • 100 gr prosciutto (or thereabouts prosciutto bone with bits and pieces left on it.)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 liter home made vegetable stock (sometimes I use homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

Soffritto ingredients

  • 4 celery sticks (finely sliced)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (very finely chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (very finely chopped)
  • 1 lemon (small un-waxed, finely grated zest only)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 extra fat cloves garlic (pounded into a paste)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 small red chilli (chopped. seeds removed if you have a sensitive palate)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water, each type in a different bowl.
  2. Rinse and drain the beans well and boil each type in a separate pot: the borlotti for an hour and the cannellini for ¾ of an hour; drain, wash and set aside.
  3. In the meantime stir-fry everything listed under the soffritto until the onions are golden – around 15 minutes; remove the bay leaves and the rosemary and season it well with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pop the prosciutto bone and the cannellini beans to the soffritto, season if you think it’s necessary and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Now pour in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 35-30 minutes until the beans are tender.
  6. Remove the bone and now mix in the borlotti beans, check and correct the seasoning and taste to see if the soup is cooked.
  7. Serve the drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and crunchy Italian bread. We suggest ciabatta.

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