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This delicious soup recipe and photo was shared with my by Karen Calanchini, Food
Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.
More of delicious
Soup, Stew, and Chili Recipes.
Tuscan-Style Vegetable Soup
Yields: 6 servings
Beans cook time: 90 min
Soup cook time: 60 min
dried beans (such as Anasazi or Orca beans)*
Water (to cook beans in)
1 bunch of Rainbow Swiss chard**
onion, peeled and chopped
2 celery stocks with leaves, sliced
chile pepper, seeded and sliced
1 sweet green chile pepper (such as Jimmy Nardello chile pepper), seeded and sliced
4 to 6
garlic cloves, diced
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence***
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 to 5 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rinds****
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced
tomatoes with juice
3 (26-ounce) boxes chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium zucchini
squash, chopped into bite-size chunks
3/4 cup cup barley (I buy the large barley that is usually found at health food stores or grain mills)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Lightly-toasted thick bread slices, rubbed with clove of fresh garlic (1 toasted bread slice for each person)
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
beans are a variety of bean related to the Pinto bean. These lovely burgundy and white
beans are an heirloom variety first cultivated in the American Southwest in the
Four Corners region of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah by the Anasazi or
Ancient Ones. They are a sweeter and mealier bean, and contain
less of the gas-causing carbohydrates of many other beans of this class.
Karen purchases her heirloom and other dried beans from
Purcell Mountain Farm which is a family-operated farm located above the
Kootenai River Valley at the foothills of the Purcell Mountain Range.
It is nestled in the Northeastern-most part of Idaho. Karen says, “I love
their dried beans because they come from the farm directly to you. Their
service is excellent and fast. Because their dried beans are so fresh, I
have never had to soak any of the varieties I have tried. They usually cook
within an hour and are ready to add to your recipe.”
** Swiss Chard - Also
known as chard or silver beet, it is one of several leafy vegetables commonly
referred to as greens. This tall plant is a member of the beet family. It is grown for both its
tender green leaves and celery-like stalks. Similar in flavor to spinach and beets, chard is pungent, bitter and
slightly salty. Choose bunches with dark green leaves and vividly colored stems.
Leaves and stems should feel crisp and smell fresh and earthy.
*** Herbs de Provence may be
purchased where herbs and spices are sold in your local grocery store. Herbes de
Provence combines sweet French herbs and lavender with Italian herbs and fennel.
**** When you purchase
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cut a chunk you need and save the rinds. The rinds
can be used to add flavor to soups, stews, and pasta sauces. I store the
rinds in a freezer bag and just freeze.
Place the dried beans into a large pot. Soak the beans at least 3 hours or overnight in warm water
(this will help to soften them). In the morning drain off the water, and just cover with clean
water. Bring the water just to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low and
cook until the beans are soft and just almost done, approximately 1 to 1 1/2
hours. To check if beans are done, bite into a couple of the beans. When done,
remove from heat and drain; set aside.
Rinse the stems and leaves
of the Swiss Chard well. Trim the stems from the Swiss
Chard, discarding any that are wilted. Cut up the thick stems crosswise into
slices, 1/2-inch thick. Very coarsely chop the leaves of the chard; set aside.
In a 6-quart
soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the cut up
Swiss Chard stems, onion, celery, and chile peppers; sauté until the onions begin to soften. Add the
garlic, Herbs de Provence, and red pepper flakes; sauté until fragrant.
Add the cheese rinds. Stir in the tomatoes (with juice) and add the chopped Swiss
Chard leaves; Stir and cook approximately 6 to 7 minutes until the leaves just begin to wilt.
Add the chicken
stock, cooked dried beans, cannelloni beans, carrots, zucchini squash, and
barley. NOTE: If desired, take 1/4 cup of the cooked dried
beans and mash them before adding to the soup. This will help thicken and flavor
the soup. Stir the soup well. Bring the soup just to a boil, stir again,
and then reduce heat to low and let simmer until the barley and vegetables are
cooked, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
remove the cheese rinds, add the basil and parsley; stir well. Taste soup and adjust seasonings if necessary.
To serve, place
a toasted bread slice on the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle in the soup and
sprinkle the Parmigian-Reggiano cheese over the top.
Makes 6 servings.