Herbed Vegetable and Bean Soup

This satisfying soup is similar to a Minestrone, only vegetarian (most Minestrones have pork of some kind). We use the vegetables that we have on hand, adding lots of fresh herbs from the garden. Whenever Robin’s grandmother cooks a soup or pasta sauce with cannellini beans, she thickens it by mashing some of the beans. We update this technique using our immersion blender to purée some of the beans with the liquid to give the soup a wonderful texture.

Servings and Times

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

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We start by heating a large pot with the oil over medium low heat. We add the chopped onion, about ¾ worth. While the onion slowly cooks, we prepare the rest of the ingredients. We peel and dice the shallot, yielding about 2 tablespoons. We stir this into the pot. Next, we carefully slice the carrots, about 8 slices per carrot, yielding about ¾ cup. We wipe our celery clean and dice, also yielding about ¾ cup. We stir in the celery and carrots to the onions that have already been cooking for 10 minutes and are nice and translucent.

While the vegetables continue to cook, we peel and mince the garlic cloves. We add them to the pot along with a pinch of salt and stir in for a minute. We add the can of tomatoes and raise the heat to medium. We partially cover. Meanwhile, we combine ½ cup of the cannellini beans with ¼ cup of the stock in a 1-cup measuring cup. We purée, using our immersion blender, which will help to thicken the soup.

When the tomatoes have cooked for about 5 minutes, we add the purée along with the rest of the broth and beans. We slice the sage leaves and add the leaves of the herb mix. The chunk of parmesan is also added and the heat is lowered to medium-low. The pot is partially covered and the soup is cooked for an additional 15 to 20 minutes to meld the flavors.

When it is almost time to eat, we defrost the frozen limas and peas in a microwave-safe bowl covered with plastic wrap. This just takes a minute on full power. These are added to the simmering soup along with freshly ground black pepper and the soup is cooked for only another 5 minutes or so.

We serve the soup (discarding the parmesan rind) garnished with basil leaves and red pepper flakes.

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