Tuscan White Bean Soup
This savory, Italian-inspired soup is from my favorite vegetarian restaurant—Rebar, in Victoria, British Columbia.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
28-ounce can Roma tomatoes
3 cans (15 ounces each) cannelloni or Great Northern beans
4 cups organic, gluten-free vegetable broth
4 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 small bunch kale
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan, for garnish
1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot and add onion, salt and chili flakes. Sauté until lightly golden, then add garlic and rosemary. Cook 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, water and bay leaves. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep beans from sticking to the bottom.
3. Meanwhile, wash and remove stems from kale. Chop leaves, add to soup and cook until wilted, about 20 minutes more.
4. Season soup to taste with balsamic vinegar, pepper and more salt.
5. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of grated cheese.
Adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook, by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz (Big Ideas, 2001).