GCC: Tuscan Cannellini Bean Soup

For the past few days we have experience early fall weather.  Cool nights, gorgeous days, filled with a nice breeze and bright sunshine.

Today was no exception, we woke up to the perfect day to lazy out at home and just be together.

Tom and I did not have to think twice about it – we were going to park ourselves on our couch, snuggle and watch tons of TV.

Just like I did not think twice about what to make for our lunch.  Our December Gutsy Cook menu options it’s all about comfort and warmth, and this week’s option had the perfect choice for a cool day like today.

Say hello to my version of the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Prosciutto.

Since I did not want to go out of the house today, I had to play around a bit with the ingredients. I did not have Prosciutto, so I replaced it with bacon.  I added additional herbs to it as well, since I really wanted it to feel earthy – so I added a bit of thyme and rosemary at the beginning when I was sautéing my onions, carrots and celery.  The original recipe calls to add sherry at the end.  I opted to add some white wine at the beginning to give a punch.

The end result was all I could ask for -nothing short of addictive.

Tom had three bowls of it to my two.  The left over I’m sure will not be making it past this afternoon.

The best part of this recipe is that if you use canned cannellini beans, it comes together in less than 45 minutes – not bad for a lazy Sunday lunch fare.

Treat yourself to some of this today.  I guarantee that it will become your go to comfort soup in your recipe box.

Serves about 4 to 6

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup chopped carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup of white wine
  • 2 cans cannellini beans or other white beans, un-drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to top it – optional (but highly recommended!) 

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, some of the minced herbs, salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes or until soft.  Add the white wine and let it evaporate

Add the beans, bay leaves, and broth, and bring soup to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer soup for 20 minutes.

I like mine soups to have a bit of creamy texture, so I took my immersion blender and blended it a little to crush some of the beans, making it a bit creamer, so go to far, you still want to have the chucks of beans.

Add the rest of the minced fresh herbs and some ground black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Discard bay leaves and pour over some bowls, grate some parmesan cheese (if using) on top and stand back for some serious comfort eating.

To make this a vegetarian option, omit the bacon and use vegetable broth.

Since this is part of the Gutsy Cook Club, remember to check out what the other cooks are gutsying up on their own kitchen