Is it just me or do the holidays already feel like forever ago?
On Monday, as if having to wake up early and go back to work wasn’t hard enough after a week and a half of vacation and living in slippers, winter came out of nowhere and smacked me across the face. I woke up to snow and below freezing temperature here in Pittsburgh. The unusually warm weather we experienced in December is long gone, so now I’m hunkering down and mentally preparing myself for a few months of cold.
One benefit to these freezing cold days: it encouraged me to make soup. Nothing takes the chill off like a hot bowl of delicious soup! And, if you happen to be sticking to a New Year’s Resolution and trying to eat healthy-ish, you should know that this soup has a thick and creamy texture without any cream (the texture comes from blended white beans).
Tuscan White Bean Soup
makes 6-8 servings
2 T olive oil
1/4 cup chopped bacon (uncooked)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 15 oz cans Cannellini beans
4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth*
3/4 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
*Use 4 cups of broth for a thicker soup (this is my preference), or use 5 cups for a smoother soup.
Over medium heat, warm olive oil in a large stock pot. Add bacon to the oil and cook for 5 minutes (bacon will not be fully cooked but will continue cooking with other ingredients). Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
Add the beans, broth, and thyme and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Blend the soup in a blender or in the pot with an immersion blender. If using a blender, you may have to do a few batches.
Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.