MEATLESS MONDAY RECIPE
TUSCAN BEAN SOUP
4 oz dried white beans (cannellini, great northern or navy)
1 qt water
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
¼ cup chopped white onion
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped fennel
¼ cup chopped carrot
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup Lacinato (Tuscan) or curly kale torn into 1-inch pieces. Try spinach if you object to kale.
¾ tsp crushed red pepper (reduce amount if sensitive to spicy food)
½ tsp black pepper
¼ cup white wine
3 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 oz finely chopped parsley (optional)
Salt to taste
1.Place beans in large lidded pot. Cover with water; soak 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Drain and rinse beans; set aside. Quick substitute: use two 15-16 oz cans of cooked beans. Soup won’t be as thick but still tastes great.
2.In a Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add fennel and carrot; cook until tender, about 5 minutes more. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add kale; cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute. Add crushed red pepper and black pepper; cook 30 seconds. Add wine; cook until almost evaporated. Add beans, broth and bay leaf.
3.Bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are very tender and broth has thickened slightly, about 1 ½ hours. (If using canned beans, cooking time can be reduced to 20 – 30 minutes.) Add parsley, if desired, and season with salt before serving. Makes 5 servings.