Rustic Tuscan bean soup with garlic - and lots of it


Here's another healthy manproof weeknight dinner. Whenever cooking healthy foods for husband I have to make sure it's also filling. I am quite happy with a bowl of tomato soup, but husband needs something a bit more substantial. Something that can't be classed as girl food, this is particularly important for vegetarian or vegan foods, which in his head are inherently unmanly. Beans are great in this respect because cowboys eat them too.

Tuscan bean soup with garlic, thyme and rosemary

This bean soup is cheap, healthy, quick, easy, comforting and filling. What else do you want?? Oh, yes. It's also very tasty. For maximum taste you would probably want to cook your own beans and get some flavour into the beans at that stage already. I used canned beans, but will improve my slothful ways and start soaking and cooking my own beans. God knows I have enough bags of dried beans and other legumes of all kinds in the cupboard to take us through an average length war.

I made this soup last night quickly after work before heading out to meet our next feline lodger. My colleague is going away for a couple of weeks at the end of September so I have said we'll look after her cat, Samuel.

Initially I went a bit over the top with garlic. I thought it's not possible to have too much garlic. It is! So I had to add a bit of this and that to dilute down the garlic a little. I chucked in a handful of parsley also in the hope of toning down the garlic. End result tasted good and there was lots of it. Below the amounts I should have used and will next time around.

The soup was ready on the stove for husband for when he got home from work and I went to meet Samuel, who is a very cute little boy. We bonded over some Dreamies tuna snacks and had a little cuddle already. (Treats and cuddles are part of the deal in our all-inclusive luxury cattery.) He will come for a two-night practice stay this weekend to get to know us both better and check the amenities before his 2 week stay next month. That's a long time for a little boy to be away from his mummy.

Tuscan bean soup with thyme and rosemary

Rustic Tuscan bean soup recipe (serves 2)

1 small onion
1/2 leek
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (or sage)
1/2 courgette (optional, I only added this because I had some lying around)
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1.5 cups of vegetable stock
300g mixed beans (I had cannellini, kidney and pinto)

Chop the onion, leek, celery and carrot. Heat the oil, add the chopped vegetables and sauté gently for up to 10 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Mince the garlic, chop the herbs, add to the pan and cook for another minute or two.

Add the tomatoes,stock, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the courgette and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans and heat through. Check seasoning and sprinkle some fresh herbs on top. Serve with a thick slice of warm home-baked crusty bread,

Rustic Tuscan bean soup with tomato

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  1. I have to admit I like my soup pretty filling too, either that or served with serious amounts of bread! This is definitely my kind of soup :) I also have a whole cupboard full of dried beans/pulses, well here's recipe number one :)

  2. I didn't think it was possible to add too much garlic, either. Crazy talk. ;) I think I have some recipes with 15 cloves of garlic on my site. HA!

    1. :) My sister just sent me a recipe for an italian garlic soup - 20 cloves of garlic!

  3. Ooh a lovely robust soup... what a great recipe and something perfect for my strapping vegetarian husband who is ALWAYS ravenous :-) Thanks for entering into this month's #ExtraVeg

    1. :) Thanks for hosting - I'm always looking for veggie inspiration trying to keep things healthy!

  4. What a lovely recipe. I think that classic frugal peasant food can be amongst the most tasty. Thanks for sharing with ExtraVeg.

  5. I love bean soups as they are so much more filling than just vegetable ones. I eat them with bread if I'm really hungry or without if I'm trying to watch what I eat!

    1. I know - particularly in winter time beans, chick peas, lentils - love them!