Good soup is good for the soul. I am not a vegetarian by any means, but every once in a while, my body craves lots of greens. And beans! A good chunk of Italian bread. Maybe having that bread smothered with olive oil, garlic, and two cheeses. That also will alleviate my craving! A gorgeous chunk of organic kale. That could really excite me!
I like my cakes, don’t get me wrong. It can seem like all we eat is cakes here at the Duchess cucina. Our lives our centered around food. Not just sweets. We eat some pretty good meals at home. Simple foods that are not processed. I try to cook for my kids the way my parents cooked for me and my in-laws cooked for my husband.
My children are picky eaters. At their young age, they can distinguish between a good sauce and a not so good sauce. If we are somewhere and there is a not so good sauce, they wrinkle their noses and say very quietly, “Mommy, that is schiffo (disgusting).” I am not endorsing those kind of comments. As long as they don’t offend anyone, they have a right to their opinion. Quietly, of course. One of the benefits of raising them on good food is that they don’t ask too often for junk food.
(I make my bean soups with fresh beans and canned beans. This recipe is with canned beans. )
Zuppa di Fagioli
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 garlic, smashed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (I used 14 1/2 oz organic diced tomatoes)
- 2 15 oz. cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 15 oz. cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 piece Parmeggiano Reggiano rind
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable base (I use Better than Bouillon)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 bunch kale stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped
- if you are adding pasta, 2 cups shell or ditalini pasta
- Freshly ground pepper
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, red pepper flakes, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt. Add 3 quarts water, the bay leaves and Parmigiano Reggiano rind. If you don’t have the cheese rind, the soup will still turn out fine! Don’t sweat it! Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes with pot slightly covered.
Uncover the pot and raise the heat to medium. Add the beans and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. If you are adding pasta to the soup, add it now with the kale. If you are not adding pasta, just add the kale and cook stirring occasionally until the leaves are tender (about 7-10 minutes)
Remove the bay leaves and the cheese rind. Serve the soup in the bowls and add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a drizzle of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garlic and Cheese Crostini
1 loaf of Italian or French bread
3 cloves chopped garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup grated Gouda ( Asiago or mozzarella is also fine)
Slice the loaf in half and then slice it crosswise. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and some chopped garlic. I didn’t really measure the olive oil. You don’t want the bread drenched, just a nice coating of olive oil. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup shredded Gouda. Broil on top rack of oven for about 3-5 minutes. Keep a CLOSE eye on it because it will be ready really quickly .
Thank you for stopping by today! I appreciate your comments. I love reading what you think of a certain recipe and it always makes me smile!!