Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe
A hearty soup packed with vegetables and beans. Add lemon juice and zest at the end of cooking to brighten up the soup and bring all of the flavors together. Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, Harper Studio Publishers, New York, 2011, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Click here for more of Snapware’s Winter Warmup.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Cups small diced onion
- 1 Cup small diced celery
- 1 Cup small diced red bell pepper
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 Teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- ¼ Teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 Cups chicken stock or canned, low sodium chicken broth
- 4 Cups water
- 2 Pounds dried white beans (cannellini, baby lima or great northern), rinsed, picked over, and soaked overnight, drained
- 1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, about 1-by-3-inches
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ Pound broccoli rabe, tough stem ends trimmed, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8 Ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Heat the olive oil in an 8 quart soup pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, dried Italian herbs, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, water, beans, rind, and bay leaf and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Using a slotted spoon, remove about 1 cup of the beans from the pot and smash them with a back of a spoon. Return the smashed beans to the soup and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and continue to cook, uncovered, until the broth slightly thickens, about 15 minutes.
Add the broccoli rabe and rosemary sprig, and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove the rind, bay leaf, and rosemary sprig and discard them. Serve the soup in wide, shallow bowls, garnished with grated cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, as desired.