This hearty Tuscan soup is kin to minestrone but adds a layer of texture and flavor with its topping of bread and parmesan. There are many ways to add the bread to this soup, including layering it with vegetables, but I like the buttery crunch of toasted bread and cheese browned in the oven. You can use a variety of vegetables, a particularly useful thing when your garden harvest is bountiful.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups water
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 1 bunch kale or chard, washed, stems removed, and chopped
- 4 thick slices sourdough bread, toasted
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in large soup pot, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.Add beans to the pot along with tomatoes, rosemary, and thyme. Bring back to simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
- Remove rosemary and thyme stems and stir in greens. Taste and adjust seasoning. Lay bread slices on top of the stew so they cover the top. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Put the pot in the oven and bake until bread, onions and cheese are browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Divide the soup and bread among 4 bowls and serve.