I love soup and I love beans so this recipe is perfect in every way. I found the original recipe on The Pioneer Woman website, but I changed it dramatically. I just made this again the other day, and I think it might be one of my favorite soup recipes.
You can make it with sausage or not. I did a batch for some friends that don’t eat meat, so I just left it out. My friend sent me a text asking for the recipe yesterday, so I guess they liked it. Yay! With or without meat – this soup is delicious and the chopped kale gives it heartiness, plus kale is so good for you. We served ours with a salad and some garlic bread. Since it is freezing outside, soup would be a perfect dinner for tonight!
Tuscan Bean Soup
1 lb. Italian sausage, optional
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 to 2 carrots, peel and cut into circles
1 – 6 ounce can of tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp of Italian seasoning
6 cups of chicken broth, or vegetable broth if you prefer
1 – 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 – 14.5 ounce can of Italian diced tomatoes
4 – 14.5 ounce cans of white beans, I use Great Northern. Drained and rinsed
1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and torn into small pieces
In large pot cook the Italian sausage. Breaking it up as you cook it. Remove any excess of oil, if necessary. I like to leave some to cook the veggies in. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in carrots and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add tomato paste and stir and cook for a couple of minutes, getting up the yummy bits off the bottom of the pot. Stir in red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and then add the broth and let it cook for a few minutes. While it is cooking, I start opening the cans of tomatoes and beans. Don’t drain the tomatoes, but do drain the beans into a colander and rinse well. Add the tomatoes and stir and then finally add the beans. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes or more. Rinse the kale and tear into bite sized chunks. You don’t want to leave the kale too large, since it doesn’t cook down too much and stays pretty hearty. I wait until about 15 minutes before I am ready to eat to add the kale. I like to have look nice a bright and green. I sometimes add some fresh parsley at this time too and then just before serving I add fresh chopped basil. I top with a bit of fresh Parmesan cheese. Yum!