I love to scuba dive in Lake Murray! Love it!! So how does this go with soup? Easy! I dive. I get tired. I go home. I sleep.
It is not fair to have my also worn out from diving husband, my beloved Roger, eat pop-tarts for dinner, so I make this soup. I don’t know if it has a name, so I call it Tuscan Bean Soup. I also call it Mexican Bean Soup, and Yankee Bean Soup. It all depends on what type of beans I’m using. It is really good for days, and good for you. So, let’s begin!
This is what it looks like when it is done.
First, open a can of beans and drain off the liquid then rinse the beans until they are clean. You would be amazed how much salt is in that liquid. Heaven knows what else is in there, so rinse them clean. Put them in a good sized pot with water and start heating them.
At this point, you have a choice to make. Will this soup be vegan or not? It is great either way, but if you want meat in it, add chicken or beef broth now.
Now take a cast iron skillet, add good olive oil (unfiltered if you have it), and start heating, but not to frying hot, just medium low cooking hot.
Chop 4-6 cloves of fresh garlic, and pull the leaves off a good big handful of fresh rosemary. Put the rosemary in the skillet to cook and infuse the oil.
Chop an onion ( I used a purple onion here because it is what I had on hand) into fairly large pieces and put it in the bean pot.
Your beans should be getting nice and warm, and your rosemary should be letting its aroma go in your kitchen by now, so add the chopped garlic to the skillet with the rosemary. Stir the rosemary and garlic slowly constantly watching the garlic. You want it to just change color to be a little darker, but not brown at all.
I used to add a big can of whole tomatoes to the skillet at this point crushing the tomatoes with my hands as I added them, but I have heard that is not such a good thing to do with a cast iron skillet and a husband over 50, so now I just add them to the beans and onions. I don’t buy the crushed canned tomatoes for this. They tend to be over crushed. Just give each tomato a little squeeze. You are just adding the love!
That can is not one of those gallon sized cans. It is bigger then the bean can, but not super giant. Don’t get the smaller can of tomatoes, just go one size up.
Now, pour the contents of the skillet in the bean pot, and let it all cook slowly so everything gets a good flavor. When the beans are soft, crush them with a wooden spoon on the side of the pot to make the soup nice and thick. You don’t have to crush all of them, so just crush until you feel like you have done enough.
You can serve the soup like this, or you can add a handful of ripped up kale (remove the stems) at this point. Taste it and see what you think it needs. I have even added left over potatoes from the night before at this point, and even sausage or meatballs.
Serve it with a nice piece of your favorite bread. It stores great in the refrigerator for at least a week. However long you have it, just keep adding stuff to it. It changes the texture and flavor, but it tastes good. I even add beef drippings and left over veggies as the days and dinners go by.
I hope you enjoy this after dive dinner. Remember, just name it after the beans! These were cantelini beans, so Tuscan Soup, but it is really great with pinto beans too! I know I misspelled those Tuscan beans, but spell check doesn’t have a clue either.