I've been a little more pressed for time this week than I anticipated. But I'm trying to eat better, too. A week of indulgent eating while out of town for spring break means I need to rein things back in. After having spinach salad for dinner the last two nights, I was ready for something a little more substantial. But what to make? I was in a hurry and hadn't thawed anything out.
Who knew such a delicious soup could result from such humble ingredients? I spied a can of cannellini beans and a can of diced tomatoes. About twenty minutes later, I was eating dinner! Hallelujah!
Tomato and Bean Soup
Yield: 4 servings
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 rib of celery (with greens, if possible), diced
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1/8 tsp pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 - 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
2 - 1" slices of lemon rind
1 TBS minced fresh basil
rind of Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
salt to taste
Saute the onion, garlic, and celery in the oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the herbs, pepper, and broth and cook at a simmer until the celery is tender, about 10 minutes. If you have a rind of cheese that you plan to add, add it when you add the herbs.
Drain and rinse the beans and tomatoes (this can be done together). Fish out the garlic cloves, herbs, lemon rind, and - if used - the cheese rind and discard. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook over medium heat for 2-4 minutes. Add the minced basil. Lastly, add salt to taste. Because every broth is different, the amount of salt needed with vary. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
NOTE: When a recipe calls for vegetable broth, I reach for Knorr's broth cubes. Out of all the bouillon out there, it is the only one I've found that consistently has a great broth flavor for a reasonable price and can-free convenience.