Tuscan-Style Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Soup with Minced Rosemary and Grilled Artichoke Hearts
This soup showcases the best qualities of rustic Italian soups— comforting, hearty, healthy and full of flavor! Tuscan soup celebrates the flavors of the season and uses whatever is ripe and at the peak of flavor. Traditionally vegetable-centric, this style of regional country fare is thickened with stale bread, grated hard, salty cheese or tender white beans. The texture is a matter of choice—anywhere from a smooth, pureed pottage to a chunky stew.
This recipe uses sweet, caramelized veggies as its foundation— carrot, green cabbage and sweet onion. Pureed white cannellini beans provide structure, while minced rosemary and shaved Parmesan cheese act as a counterpoint to flavors, adding depth to this simple dish. Use a good quality finishing oil drizzled on top right before serving. A buttery, mild Californian olive oil or a peppery, robust Tuscan oil are great choices.
This dish is excellent served warm or at room temperature.
Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Soup with Minced Rosemary and Grilled Artichoke Hearts
2 Tbs. buttery extra virgin olive oil
1 large Vidalia or Maui onion (about 1 cup) medium chop
2 celery ribs (about 1/4 cup) medium chopped
2 large or 4 medium organic orange carrots (about 1 cup) small chop
2 cups (about 1/4 head) chopped green cabbage
1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste
2 (15.5-ounce can) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Roma Tomato, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 slices (optional)
3 cloves roasted garlic
4 cups chicken bone broth (Butchers Brand or homemade)
sea salt to taste
4 tablespoons white wine
1-2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good quality salty Parmesan cheese (or Cotija cheese in a pinch)
In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Place onions and carrots into the pot and sauté until veggies have softened—about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and sauté for an additional 15 minutes.
Lower heat to medium and stir in tomato paste, then cook for about 1 minute to remove its "raw" flavor and deepen its complexity, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent burning.
Add beans and bone broth, increase the heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée until a chunky, thick soup similar to a pottage's texture is achieved. Add white wine and stir. Cover and set aside while you prepare the minced grilled artichokes.
Grilled Artichoke Hearts
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt or truffle salt
Gently pat artichoke hearts with a paper towel if wet and drizzle with olive oil. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add artichoke hearts and sauté till crispy and brown on one side, then turn over with tongs and sauté the other side until crispy and browned on the edges. Turn off heat and set aside. Sprinkle with fine sea salt or truffle salt.
Using an immersion blender, roughly chop veggies until a slightly chunky texture is achieved. Add remaining can of cannellini beans and sliced roma tomato to hot soup and stir to combine. Ladle into bowls and top with rosemary, a drizzle of buttery extra virgin olive oil and grilled artichoke hearts.
Serve with grated salty Parmesan cheese.