I now blog about food at She Eats Plants. Come visit if you’re interested in healthy adaptions of family favourites and some decadent treats thrown in for good measure.
This past week I got a new cookbook, Avec Eric by Eric Ripert. It is fantastic. I’ve been pouring through it since I got it, collecting new ideas and just enjoying the story behind the recipes. As I was reading I stumbled upon a recipe called Tuscan Bean Soup. I knew I had to try it. It had everything we loved. Filled with vegetables, beans, cheese and loads of flavor, it was absolutely delicious yet still quite healthy.
This book is a must buy. Seriously. I’ve tried the baked zucchini as well and it was fantastic as well. I anticipate many delicious meals inspired by this book. I’ve included the recipe here as I made it today. It’s a little different (as I had different ingredients available and I always change things up a bit) but quite close to the original.
Tuscan Bean Soup
(Adapted from Avec Eric by Eric Ripert)
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for the croutons
- 250 gm prosciutto, cut into larger pieces.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 c peeled and sliced carrot
- 2 c sliced celery
- 4 garlic cloves (or 4 garlic clove tops), finely chopped
- 8 c chicken broth (2 900 ml boxes)
- 1 large bunch of swiss chard, cut into ribbons
- 1 large bunch of spinach, cut into ribbons
- 6 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- A handful of fresh thyme
- 2-3 tbsp of chopped Italian parsley
- A wedge of parmesan (you’ll need the rind and some of the cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 a loaf of foccacia bread cut into chunks
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-hi heat.
- Add the prosciutto, onion, garlic, celery and carrot.
- Cook until the onions are clear and the vegetables have begun to soften.
- Add the beans, chicken broth, swiss chard, spinach, tomatoes, thyme, parsley and parmesan rind to the pot.
- Bring the mixture almost to a boil and then turn it down.
- Simmer until the vegetables are soft.
- While the soup is simmering, you can make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 350.
- Toss the cubed bread in a liberal dose of olive oil.
- Add a little shredded parmesan cheese and mix well.
- Put the bread on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place the tray in the oven for 6 minutes.
- Flip the croutons and put back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. Remove when golden and crispy.
- Stir the pot and remove the thyme and the rind.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup with the croutons and some shredded parmesan cheese as a garnish.
- I couldn’t get a big piece of prosciutto so I stacked the slices I was able to get and cut them into pieces that way. They actually stayed together quite well in the soup.
- An easy way to ribbon your spinach and swiss chard is to roll the leaves together and cut through it a lot at once. It makes the job move much more quickly.
- This is a labor intensive meal. There is a lot of chopping and prep work but once that’s done it’s very easy to assemble. It’s well worth the effort on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
- This makes a lot of soup! It should feed 6-8 people. I always like leftovers so it was the perfect amount for us.