It's soup season. Soups are a staple in the Tuscan kitchen. Keep in mind that soup is always better the second day! Serve with warm bread and your favorite cheese.
Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup
1 small onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups dried Tuscan white beans
2 28-ounce cans whole or diced peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 bunch Tuscan kale, coarsely chopped
3 large leaves Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
Half of a head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 loaf Italian bread, day old is best broken into bowl size pieces
Salt and pepper
Soak the dried beans overnight. The next day add fresh water and cook until tender. Drain but reserve the bean cooking liquid. This will make the soup thick and delicious.
In a large pot heat olive oil and cook carrots, celery, and onion over low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. Add the beans and half the reserved cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Add Tuscan kale, Swiss chard, and cabbage and cook for 60 minutes, add the remaining cooking liquid. You can add vegetable stock or broth for the consistency you want at this point. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, place bread pieces in bowl and ladle a soup on top of the bread. Let stand a few minutes before serving. Drizzle with olive oil.
Serve hot on a cold day!