With the first spoonful of our savory Tuscan Bean Soup you will be swept away to Tuscany admiring the sunflowers. It’s chock full of vegetables, delicious flavor & of course love! Serve as a main meal for either lunch or dinner and don't forget the toasted crusty bread to soak up every last drop. Enjoy!
3 (15.5 oz) cans cannellini beans with liquid (divided into 3/4 and 1/4)
1 rounded tsp Hunt’s tomato paste with garlic & basil
1 leek, chopped (both white & green parts)
2 yellow onions, diced ( I was out of yellow onions so I substituted with red)
2 cups large celery stalks, large dice (about 3-4 ribs)
2 cups large carrots, large dice (about 5-6 peeled carrots)
8-10 garlic cloves, smashed then chopped (Add more or less to suit your taste.)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 large bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
3-4 handfuls baby spinach, torn by hand (escarole or kale may be substituted)
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups beef broth
1 small piece of rind from a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 ounces Ditalini pasta (any small pasta may be substituted.)
Pecorino Romano, freshly grated cheese (Locatelli), or Parmigiano-Reggiano (not the stuff in the green container, please!)
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, add the EVOO. When EVOO is hot enough add the leeks, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and salt & pepper. Sauté on medium heat about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, spinach, cheese rind, and 3/4 of the canned beans. Cook for another 3 minutes on medium-low flame until fragrant. Using an immersion blender, blend the remaining 1/4 beans then add to the pot and stir.
Add the tomato paste and stir well.
Add the hand-crushed tomatoes, both broths & stir well. Add 3 oz of ditalini to the soup. (If you’re making more than 3 oz of pasta, we recommend you cook it separately & add it right before serving.)
Bring to a slow boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until vegetables are done.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the ditalini pasta following package directions.
Ladle soup into bowls & add the pasta. Sprinkle with grated Locatelli cheese (Pecorino Romano). Enjoy!
Note: You can double this recipe for a big batch to freeze for later use. Just don’t add the pasta before freezing.
To make this soup gluten-free, use GF broth & GF pasta.
If you're a lobster & seafood lover, this chowder is a must-try. It's filled with lobster, jumbo lump crab meat, shrimp, corn kernels, all delivered in a silky, creamy texture that's loaded with seafood flavor. (When we made this batch we were out of carrots so you won't see any in the photo. We never missed them; however, they do add a pleasant sweetness when included). One spoonful and you'll be transported to the waterfronts of Maine or Cape Cod.
2 -3 Tablespoons butter
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/4″ slices
3 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ slices
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1½ Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2” cubes.
Heavenly is the only way to describe this fabulous, hearty corn & crab chowder. My good friend, Nancy Baker, cooked this today for our bridge club gathering. Everyone loved it and Nancy was kind enough to share her recipe with me for our blog. Thank you, Nancy! ❤
1 Tablespoon EVOO
2 Tablespoons butter
2 potatoes, peeled & diced (red potatoes hold their shape best for this)
2 cups shrimp/lobster seafood broth (homemade) or chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)
1-quart whole milk (2% or unsweetened almond milk can be used in place of whole milk)
3 cups corn kernels, drained well or frozen can be used
8 oz. lump crab meat, uncooked
gluten-free crackers (oyster crackers if gluten-free not needed)
sliced scallions for garnish
hot pepper sauce (optional)
Chop vegetables and set aside.
Add EVOO & butter into a large deep pot over medium heat.
Add the vegetables & bay leaf.
Add salt, pepper & Old Bay® Seasoning.
Sauté vegetables 5 -7 minutes, then sprinkle in flour a little at a time. For a thicker chowder add more flour. Cook mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in cold broth until the mixture stops thickening.
Stir in milk a little at a time & combine. You may not use the whole quart and that’s ok.
Bring soup to a boil, add corn & crab meat. Lower heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove bay leaf.
Taste. Add additional salt, pepper or Old Bay if needed. Let sit covered about 30 minutes or longer to meld all the flavors.
Ladle into soup bowls and top with gluten-free crackers, hot sauce & sliced scallions.
If serving buffet style, keep chowder warm in a crockpot on the warmest setting.
Notes: To make homemade shrimp or lobster broth use any cooked or raw shells from shrimp or the cooked shells from lobsters. These can be frozen until you have a bag full to make a wonderful seafood broth. Fill a pot with the shells and just enough water to cover them for about an hour. Bring to a boil & immediately lower to a low simmer, uncovered. When done, discard the shells and let the broth cool off. Pour into 1 cup food storage bags and freeze until needed. Never throw away your shells again!