This is a SIMPLE Italian veggie soup that I always have the ingredients in stock. I haven’t met a person yet who didn’t rave about it!
2 cans white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for serving
1/4 pound large diced pancetta or smoked bacon (optional)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1 1/2 cup chopped carrots (5 carrots)
1 cup chopped celery (3 stalks)
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded cabbage, optional
4 cups coarsely chopped kale
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning Mix
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
8 cups soup stock, any of these: vegetable, chicken, mushroom
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
On medium high, heat the oil in a large stockpot. Add the pancetta and onions and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes with their puree, the cabbage, if using, the kale, Italian seasoning and basil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for another 7 to 10 minutes.
Drain the beans, reserving their liquid. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree half of the beans with a little of their liquid. Add to the stockpot, along with the remaining whole beans. Add the soup stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
Taste for seasoning and serve hot in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil.
PS Take seconds, it’s so healthy for you!