Monday, February 21, 2011

Tuscan Bean Soup


I'm a sucker for a good soup.  I love finding everything I need in the pantry and even if not, I love how you can swap one ingredient out for what you do have.  They are warm, delicious and often time, low-cal enough to let you gorge on one extra bowl.

Abe's been feeling sick, along with much of the household, so homemade soup was in order.  I didn't have time to defrost some chicken to make him his favorite Greek lemon rice soup, so vegetarian it was.  That way I could have a bowl too!

I found this recipe on Cookinglight.com and adjusted it because I did not have 3 cans of chick peas.  I ended up liking the creaminess that the great northern beans added, so I am sticking with that.  You can swap them for any white bean that you have in your pantry.  The vinegar adds a lot of depth and I used the full 2 tablespoons.

It was delicious and Adam gobbled his up.  I can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today!

Enjoy!

Tuscan Bean Soup
Serves 6

2  tablespoons  olive oil
2  cups  finely chopped onion
8  garlic cloves, minced
4  cups  water or broth
1  teaspoon  minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 (15 ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1  (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1  to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6  tablespoons  (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Handful of fresh spinach leaves (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the water and the next 5 ingredients (water/broth through tomatoes), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Place 4 cups soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth, making sure to open top vent and covering with a clean dish towel.  Return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar, add spinach, if using, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spoon 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Calories: 373 (22% from fat)
Fat: 9.1g (sat 2.1g,mono 4.5g,poly 1.6g)
Protein: 15g

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