It’s finally “winter” here in the desert. And after a brutally hot summer I am READY for the cold. We just had a crazy winter storm that brought lots of rain & snow up north and even sleet here in Phoenix! This crazy weather made me crave a nice hot bowl of soup…I didn’t want a bowl of brothy soup, but one that was rather hearty, yet filling AND healthy. This Tuscan style vegetable soup does not disappoint. It is a very rustic soup and is LOADED with fresh veggies and if you don’t have fresh on hand use canned or frozen. It is very satisfying and your waistband will thank you.
RUSTIC TUSCAN VEGETABLE SOUP
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 15 oz can of light or dark kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- green beans, cut into bite sized pieces (fresh, frozen or canned) about 1 cup
- 1 small yellow squash, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup of any type of small pasta (already cooked) Do not cook your pasta in the soup. The pasta will absorb all of the liquid.
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional
In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.
Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.