Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Randi at I have to say (http://ihavetosay.typepad.com/randi/) is sponsoring A Recipe Box Swap where you post your favorite soup. I have to say my all time favorite soup is Bean With Bacon. I found a wonderful recipe for it years and years ago in House Beautiful of all places, but lost it soon after. I keep trying to find it but haven't been successful yet. In lieu of that, Tuscan Bean Soup is my next favorite. First time we had it, my dear daughter in law, Jenny, made it for us. It is absolutely delicious and quite versitile. I have made a recipe combining her recipe and one found somewhere else, so here it is:

1 Tbl. olive oil 1 lb. Italian sausage, cut into ¼ in. thick slices or bulk sausage (or chicken) 1 ¼ c. chopped fennel bulb 1 ¼ c. chopped onion ½ c. chopped celery 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. rosemary ¼ tsp. thyme ¼ tsp. pepper 4 cans chicken broth 1 can baby lima beans, drained 1 can garbanzo beans, drained 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1/3 c. pearl barley if wish 2 Tbl. Tomato paste 1 large russett potato in ½ in. pieces 1 c. sliced carrots 1 c. packed sliced spinach

In a large saucepan cook sausage, onion, fennel, celery and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in herbs and pepper; cook until onions are tender 2-3 min. longer. Add broth, beans, barley and tomato paste; heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 20-25 min, adding potato, carrots and spinach during last 10 min. of cooking time. This is soooooooo good!!! And, of course, a hunk of good hearty bread is perfect with this. A perfect soup anytime.

I am the kind of cook who changes recipes around all the time. Often whatever is available is what gets thrown in. Not sure I ever make the same thing exactly ever unless it's with baking. My mother was the same kind and her soups, stews and casseroles were always an adventure. If you asked her what was in it she'd always say, "Taste it and find out." That wasn't what we wanted to hear and sometimes it would be "interesting" to say the least. Usually, it was also very, very spicy. We had two young men for dinner once when she made her chili half as spicy as usual. The poor guys turned bright red from the heat! My cooking is similar and poor hubby has learned to like most of it even though he thought ketchup was spicy when we got married!
Note on the fennel bulb--it's so much more delicious with the bulb, but if you cannot find it (my little town market usually doesn't have it, so have to go "into town" to get it) use fennel seed. I often go searching online to get ideas for changing up recipes, so try your favorite search engine!
Oh, try Artisan Bread in Five Minutes for some fantastic bread recipes that are super easy! http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=195 that's their master recipe. Highly reccommend their book!

Here's a place you can find a picture of Emeril's version of the soup: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/tuscan-bean-soup-recipe/index.html
I just can't seem to figure out how to format things well on here, so hope you can figure out the recipe--tried to put spaces between ingredients! Also, picture of potholders is only one that seemed to fit in any way with this. Oh, use a big pot!! Super enjoy this recipe.

1 comment:

randi said...

this sounds great! i love italian sausage with beans. thanks for linking up today!