Recipe Connection: Tuscan Bean Soup

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Find this recipe, updated and with even more frugal tips and transformation options, along with 29 other bean recipes and a ton of information on cooking dry beans, the health benefits of beans, and ideas for bean haters in The Everything Beans Book, available now at Kitchen Stewardship!

Kimi over at The Nourishing Gourmet is hosting a Nourishing Frugal Recipes Carnival today.  The goal is to show that you CAN cook healthy, nutritious meals and stay within a budget.  I can’t wait to get some new ideas for my meal planning!

Here is my contribution to the cause:

Tuscan Bean Soup
Recipe type: Soup
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 c. chicken stock (or vegetable broth, see below)
  • 5 oz. baby spinach (organic if possible)
  • 3 cans white (great northern) beans, drained and rinsed
  • (or about 2-3 cups dry beans, soaked and cooked)
  • 1 tsp. each thyme, oregano
  • ¼ tsp rosemary or marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and herbs; cover and cook until onion is soft, 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Stir in broth and drained beans, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer 2 cups of beans to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Puree remaining soup in 3 small batches in blender until smooth. Note: you can skip the pureeing or use a stick blender in the pot if you have one.
  8. Return soup and beans to saucepan; heat to a simmer. Stir in spinach.
This is a great soup for dipping sandwiches — grilled cheese is good, grilled mozzarella cheese with sauteed red onions and sliced mushrooms even better!

Also yummy with Whole Grain cornbread or Biscuits.

Super foods:  4

Cost:  $2.00-4.50, depending on if you use canned or dry beans and homemade or store-bought broth

timesaverTimesavers:  Cook your dry beans in the pot you’re going to use for soup.  I say cook the whole bag and freeze the leftovers in 1 1/2 cup portions (equal to one can) for use in future recipes.  Drain the beans in a colander and leave them in the sink while you use the pot to make the rest of the soup, then just plop the beans back in.  Fewer dishes makes Katie a happy girl!

15 minutes! If you have pre-cooked beans or use a can, this recipe is on the table in 15 minutes. Fabulous!

To make vegetable broth: If you use dry beans, just throw in a carrot, 2 celery stalks, a quartered onion, some salt, and 4 cloves unpeeled garlic.  Cook 4-8 hours, and make sure you drain the bean broth into a bowl.  Toss the veggies — all their nutrients are now in your broth.  You can use the broth in your soup now, and add any leftovers to anything you make that week that needs a little water added (chili, cooking brown rice, etc).  It’s not quite as tasty this way as with chicken stock, but it’s a good vegetarian option.

Remember to come back Monday for a Meatless Meals Carnival here at Kitchen Stewardship!


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15 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    Yum! Looks like a great recipe . . . and I’ve been meaning to make a large batch of beans and freezing them so they’re as “handy” as a can of beans too! Great frugal tip!


  2. Katie says

    If you are a container re-user, the 16 oz plastic tubs from sour cream, cottage cheese, etc, are just right to make “1 can” of beans for the freezer. They are plastic #5 PP which has no BPA.

    • Katie says

      Sure! There are interesting sandwich spread recipes that start with white beans (just Google search it), or you could add seasonings and pan fry them for tortillas, or just add the puree in half cup servings to taco meat, chili, or anything you can think of. My mom does that and you can’t even tell you’re getting an extra boost of protein! Even blended soups are tasty; you could just make the soup as written and I bet it would still be great. The 3-bean soup recipe on this site is 100% blended – kids love it b/c it’s so easy to eat!
      :) Katie

  3. Brooke Kingston says

    This soup is delicious, satisfying and very popular at our house! So easy to make, and very frugal too! DH had two bowls, our picky toddler inhaled it, and I’ve got leftovers so this pregnant mama has lunch for a few days. Wonderful!!

  4. Aleta says

    I made this soup for supper tonight, and it was a wonderful, warm and filling meal for this snowy evening. My picky three-year-old, who usually requires significant coaxing to try a new dish, ate it right up without even asking what is was! Thanks!

  5. Kristy says

    Oh my… not forget the onions…..I think the taste would have been 100% better with the onions. I seriously forgot to add the onions.

  6. Katie says

    Thanks for checking it out, Stephanie! I follow your blog as well, and I’ve learned a lot from you lately. :)

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