This is a good, hearty soup. I’m a big fan of one pot meals, because who doesn’t love less clean up? This recipe is adapted from several recipes that I read, and then I added lots of other good things. I also tried to make it easy, since I was making this on a weeknight and certainly hadn’t planned ahead enough to soak beans overnight (but if you want to go that route, I suggest 2 cups of dried beans). I think the toast is essential, too, so don’t skip it (unless of course you can’t eat it).
Italian White Bean Soup
- 4 – 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 celery rib, roughly chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the toast
- 1 lb. bulk italian sausage
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lb. butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
- 1 medium red potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- lots of fresh grated parmesan for serving
- 8 or more slices of your favorite country-style bread
Add 1 of the carrots, the celery, the onion, and 2 cups of the chicken stock to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.
Pour the vegetable mixture into a blender along with 2/3 of the beans. Blend until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a large (at least 5 qt.) pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up into smaller chunks, and cook until browned and completely cooked through. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the garlic to the pot and cook for about a minute, until fragrant and beginning to brown.
Add the reserved bean/vegetable puree along with the remaining 4 cups of chicken stock, and bring to a boil.
Stir in the squash, kale, remaining carrot, and potato. Season with salt and pepper, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the remaining sausage, beans, and crushed fennel seeds. Let soup simmer until the sausage and beans have warmed up, then remove from heat.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of each piece of bread with olive oil. Toast the bread slices in the pan, flipping once until both sides are golden. Place one or two pieces of toast into each bowl and ladle soup over the toast. Grate a generous amount of parmesan over each bowl of soup and drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy!