Saturday 26 June 2010

A Tuscan Supper

On a cold weeknight, a lovely soup and crunchy bread is so comforting. This easy and delicious combination is my new favourite...

Tuscan white bean and garlic soup with a side of bruschetta

This soup is a delicate and subtly flavoured one, so the punchy bruschetta is a great pairing. Strictly speaking, using tomatoes and basil as part of a cosy winter meal is not very seasonal (quite the faux pas actually), however my fruit and veg shop still has the most amazing tomatoes and basil in stock. How can I resist?!

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
(a Giada De Laurentis recipe)
2 tsbp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 sage leaf
4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken if you'd prefer)
4 cloves garlic, halved
1/2 c single/pouring cream
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Place a medium, heavy based pot on medium heat and add the butter, olive oil and shallot. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
2. Add the sage leaf and beans, and stir to combine.
3. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.
4. Add the garlic and simmer until the garlic is softened, about 10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and fish out the garlic skins and discard. Then puree the soup with a hand-held blender. Be careful not to burn yourself! Transfer to a bowl for this step if you need to.
6. Return to the heat to add the cream and seasoning, then remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

This is how I make my bruschetta. I think there are as many variations as there are cooks! This recipe doesn't include red onion - I am not a big fan of it in bruschetta, but you could always add some if desired :)

6 ripe roma tomatoes
1/2 c basil, shredded
1 garlic glove, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3-4 tsp balsamic vinegar, to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper
crusty white Italian-style bread, sliced
4 garlic cloves, halved

1. Score a cross at the base of each tomato and place in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and let sit for 10 seconds. Then transfer to cold water.
2. Remove from water, and peel skin away starting from the cross.
3. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.
4. Finely dice the flesh, then combine with the finely chopped garlic, extra virgin olive oil, basil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning.
5. Toast the bread and while still hot, rub with the cut side of a garlic clove. Drizzle a little oil over each slice and season with a little salt and pepper.
6. Top with the tomato mixture and serve.

Enjoy :)

Ladybird x


  1. Oh yum! I lovvve bruschetta.
    I had soup and bread for dinner tonight also :)


  2. I adore bruschetta - yum! but not so keen on bean soups, always find the texture odd and it burns so easily!


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