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.