Tuscan Bean Soup
- In 4-quart Dutch oven cook and stir carrots and onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add beans, broth, and seasoning. Bring to boiling; slightly mash beans. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in large skillet heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add spinach; toss with tongs 1 to 2 minutes, just until wilted. Remove from heat. Ladle soup; top with spinach, sprinkle with pepper. Serve with cracker bread. Makes 4 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
Prepare soup through Step 1. Let soup cool. Transfer soup to a freezer-safe container, leaving about 1/2 inch of space between the top of the soup and the rim of the container. Label and freeze up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove-top and continue with Step 2.
Nutrition Facts (Tuscan Bean Soup)
- Per serving:
- 254 kcal ,
- 11 g fat
- (2 g sat. fat ,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 7 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 0 mg chol. ,
- 919 mg sodium ,
- 36 g carb. ,
- 12 g fiber ,
- 7 g sugar ,
- 16 g pro.
First of all, in my opinion, there's way too much broth in relation to the solid ingredients. At a minimum, another can of beans is needed to add some substance.
Secondly, three tablespoons of Italian seasoning is way too much. In fact, it is so overpowering that no other flavors come through. (The recipe calls for two to three tablespoons of the seasoning. After reading one of the reviews indicating that the Italian herbs are key, I decided to use the full three tablespoons of dried herbs. Big mistake!)
Thirdly, even with the excessive amount of Italian seasoning, the soup is very bland and, at a minimum, needs salt. Lots of it! (In an attempt to compensate for the lack of salt and overpowering taste of Italian seasoning, I first added some salt, which didn't do much. So then I sprinkled the soup with grated parmasean cheese. Better, but still not getting it. Finally, I added a few slices of leftover kielbasa. The soup was then a bit more palatable until most of the solid ingredients were gone and I was left with a bowl of broth layered with a film of dried Italian seasoning! Mmmm!!)
At this point, the jury is still out as to whether I will again attempt this recipe. Although its quick and easy, it may just be that simplicity that is this recipe's downfall. With such few ingredients and minimal cooking time, my concern is that simply tweaking the recipe to account for the excess broth, overpowering seasoning, and lack of salt, will not be enough to overcome the lack of depth and flavor.