Tuscan White Bean Soup
I hope none of you had a chance to look at my personal Facebook page this weekend. It may have been eighty-four degrees here in Las Vegas and I may have been boating. Then, I saw the news and you guys were hit with a serious snow storm. Mankato was even in the national news revealing the white out conditions on the roads and crazy amounts of snowfall. This was quite a way to end winter for all of you. Hopefully, it will make you appreciated the beautiful Spring that you get to enjoy soon. So, I thought this Tuscan white bean soup recipe just might be the thing to warm you up as you get through the final days of winter. You’re welcome.
I made this the other night for the first meeting of my book club. Yes, Kathy Grothem, I started a book club. I wonder if yours is still going on in Hanska? I used to think book clubs were a little corny and I didn’t want to leave Claud in the evening. I thought, I could just read on my own during the day. However, now I wear reading glasses with a chain so the sky is pretty much the limit on corny in my life. What’s next, I start wearing sensible shoes? Never! Also, Claud travels a lot now. So, I have more free time in the evening to spend with my girlfriends.
Anyway, my first book club meeting was not a complete success. I made a tomato and herb salad, which was delicious. I also made this Tuscan white bean soup. The soup was amazing. Once the food was ready, things seemed pretty good. However, I don’t think this food was filling enough for the amount of wine we consumed. Also, the book, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, was not well received by my friends. Cystine read one chapter and Chanae read three. Granted, Chanae has a newborn and the book wasn’t stimulating enough to keep her from falling asleep. Only myself and one other person finished the entire book. It is a slow starter. I will admit to that; but, if you give it a chance, it gets really good. I thought it was an interesting and sweet book. I am happy I read it. Also, this book takes place in Sweden and I love books to transport me to different parts of the world.
My idea for this session of book club was to make everyone dinner, discuss the book, and then watch the movie based on the book. That’s when bad got worse. The movie was painfully slow and had subtitles on top of that. I sat there in between my guests in a sea of yawns. Later, Daphne told me that she and Chanae secretly fast-forwarded it while I went to the bathroom. I didn’t even notice. We ended up turning it off about halfway through. I don’t think this is how Kathy’s group did it. I am pretty sure they were having a lot more fun if I know those girls.
I am not giving up hope. We chose a new book and set a date to reconvene in April. I am going to make it a Sunday brunch and have Claud make his famous eggs Benedict. We will discuss the book outside on the patio while sipping mimosas. How could that go wrong? This book also has a movie tied to it. The book is called, Me Before You, by Jo Jo Moyes. Everyone was excited about this one, especially Cystine because she has already seen the movie. I’m willing to bet she won’t even buy this book, let alone read it. I don’t mind. There are no rules. I discovered it is just fun to get together with some girlfriends and talk about books or boys or jobs or kids or whatever we want. I don’t even think it’s corny anymore.
At least the food I made was good. I just think I should make a little more than soup and salad next time or at least more of this soup. It was really good and disappeared fast. The great thing about it is that it takes about twenty minutes to make. It is incredibly easy to prepare. The part that takes the longest amount of time is chopping the vegetables. Heck, if you bought the ready diced vegetables, this would probably take about ten minutes because you just sauté, simmer and season. It doesn’t get much quicker than that.
Tuscan White Bean Soup:
Time: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 20 ounce cans of cooked white beans
2 cups kale
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add garlic and onion. Sauté for three minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, and sauté for another two minutes. Add stock and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add rosemary leaves and kale. Add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.