This soup was really good, and was pretty easy to make. It’s vegan, too, if you leave off the cheese in the croutons! I had it for lunch the next day as well, and it was even better.
Tuscan Tomato-White Bean Soup
(Food Network magazine, Sept. 2014)
time needed: 40 min.
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
2 15-ounce cans no-salt added white beans, drained and rinsed
1 quart low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (I used vegetarian chicken broth)
1 sprig rosemary, plus 1 tsp chopped leaves
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more for sprinkling
4 cups cubed ciabatta bread (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot of Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 3 garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add all but 1/2 cup of the chopped tomatoes, the beans, broth, 1 cup water, the rosemary sprig, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes.
2. Discard the rosemary sprig. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt. Return to the pot and cover to keep warm.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 garlic cloves in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Toss with the bread, chopped rosemary, mozzarella and a pinch of each salt and red pepper flakes on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the croutons are golden, 10 minutes. Top each bowl of soup with the croutons and the reserved 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes: drizzle with olive oil.