Tuscan White Bean and Vegetable Soup


3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 teaspoons tomato paste, diluted with a little bit of warm water
1 14-ounce can of cannelini beans
1 14-ounce can of Northern white beans
2 quarts vegetable stock
1 zucchini, chopped
2 leeks, ends and touch leaves removed, cut down the middle and slices into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 head savory cabbage, shredded
3 sprigs of rosemary, finely minced
3 springs thyme, minced
1 spring oregano, minced
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 head of Lacinata kale, stems removed and cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper
1 loaf of rustic bread
Parmesan for serving


In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, but not smoking, add onion, garlic, celery, carrot and cook for about 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the tomato paste, stir briefly and then add the beans, the stock, and the zucchini, leeks, and cabbage. Add the herbs and chili flakes to the pot and cook for about 20 minutes. Then add the kale and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve the soup in big bowls with freshly grated Parmesan on top and the bread on the side. You could also slice the bread, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toast it in the oven for a few minutes.