Dinner

Vegetarian Tuscan Bean Stew

Forget about all those boring soups that are lacking flavor! Instead, try this Vegetarian Tuscan Bean Stew. It’s made with cannellini beans, mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, kale, rosemary and topped with grated parmesan cheese. 

Vegetarian Tuscan Bean Stew

If your goal this month is to eat healthier and shed a few pounds, this hearty soup is a surefire way to keep you on track! The rich and flavorful broth is enhanced by porcini mushrooms and several cloves of garlic that’s guaranteed to warm you up without weighing you down. This hearty vegetarian soup takes several hours to make, but the result is definitely worth the wait. If you don’t have time to let the dried beans soak for 24 hours, I have provided directions below on how to quick-soak the dried beans. You will also find directions on substituting canned cannellini beans if you prefer to make this soup a quick weeknight meal. Serve over a piece of toasted Italian bread and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. :)

I am certain you guys are going to love everything about this healthy Tuscan stew. It’s not like your typical boring meal because of all the incredible bold flavors. One bite of this vegetarian stew, and I promise you aren’t even going to miss the fact that there isn’t any meat in it. Don’t believe me? Try this Tuscan soup and let me know what you thought. 

Does This Recipe Double Well 

Yep! Each batch of stew makes 8 servings. You can easily double or even triple it depending on how many hungry people you are feeding. You will need a bigger pot to make it in, but that’s more than fine. Or if worse comes to worst, you could always make it in multiple batches. 

Variations To Ingredients 

As usual, you can add in some other ingredients to make this Tuscan bean stew your own. Here are some of the ideas we have tried over the years with success. 

  • Chicken – If you do want to add some meat, that’s more than fine. Add some shredded chicken to the stew for an even heartier result. 
  • Black Beans – They are incredibly filling and flavorful, so it makes sense to add a few in. 
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes – I can’t eat any kind of Italian dish without at least a few sun-dried tomatoes. The way it tastes is going to rock your world. 
  • Red Wine – Drizzle in about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of your favorite dry red wine. It will give it a burst of flavor. 

Storing Leftover Soup 

After the soup has cooled down all the way, keep it airtight and refrigerated. I like to put it into individual serving sizes, so I have it for a quick grab and go lunch idea. But you can also save it as one big batch as well. The soup will last 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Can You Meal Prep With Leftover Bean Soup 

Yep, just simply divide the Tuscan bean stew among the containers you want. Label it and put it in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Be sure to not overfill the container, or it may burst as it freezes. 

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Dried cannellini beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over.
  • Dried porcini mushrooms
  • Water
  • Extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • Large onion
  • Celery
  • Medium carrots
  • Garlic cloves
  • Vegetable broth
  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Sprig fresh rosemary
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Italian bread 

How to Make Tuscan Bean Stew

First Step: Dissolve the 3 tablespoons of salt in the cold water. Pour in the beans and let them soak for at least 8 hours or all the way up to 24 hours at room temperature. Rinse the beans and drain them well. 

Second Step: Put the oven rack in the middle to lower position in your oven. Turn on the oven to 250 degrees. 

Third Step: Put the dried porcini mushroom pieces in a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup of hot water. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in it. Microwave for 30 seconds. All the mushrooms to sit for 5 minutes, then lift the mushrooms out of the liquid using a fork. Mince the mushrooms and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. 

Fourth Step: Using a dutch oven, heat up the olive oil until you notice it has begun to shimmer. Then add in teh celery, carrots, and onions. Stir on occasion or until the veggies have browned lightly and have softened. This typically takes 10-16 minutes. 

Fifth Step: Add in teh garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the rest of the water, bay leaves, beans, broth, salt, pepper, mushrooms, and their liquid to the pot. Turn up the heat to high and cook the stew until it begins to simmer. Add a lid and put the pot into the oven, and cook until you notice the beans are almost tender. This takes around 45 minutes – 1 hour. 

Sixth Step: Take the pot out of the oven and mix in the tomatoes and kale. Put the dutch oven back in the oven and let it cook for 30-40 minutes or until the beans are tender. 

Seventh Step: Take the pot out of the oven and add the rosemary. Add the lid and let the pot stand for 15 minutes. Throw out the rosemary and bay leaves. Add some salt and pepper. Serve over some slices of toasted bread and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and olive oil. 

To quick-soak dried beans: Place the rinsed beans in a large heat-resistant bowl. Bring 2 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Pour the water over the beans and let them sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans well before proceeding with step 2.

If you do not want to use dried beans, you can substitute the dried beans for 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of cannellini beans. Drain and rinse the canned beans well before proceeding with step 3. Reduce cooking time in step 3 to 10 minutes if using canned beans.

Here are some more stew and soup recipes for you. 

Vegetarian Tuscan Bean Stew

Vegetarian Tuscan Bean Stew

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 ½ cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium bunch kale (about 1 pound), stems trimmed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces) about 8 cups loosely packed
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 1 loaf Italian bread (about 1 pound)

Instructions

In a large bowl, dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water. Add beans and soak, at room temperature, for at least 8 and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Cover dried porcini mushroom pieces with 1/2 cup hot tap water in small microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife and microwave on high power, 30 seconds. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms from liquid with fork and mince using chef’s knife. Strain liquid through fine-mesh strainer lined with paper towels into medium bowl. Set mushrooms and liquid aside.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 16 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining 4 cups water, broth, bay leaves, soaked beans, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and reserved mushrooms and mushroom liquid. Increase heat to high and bring stew to simmer. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook until beans are almost tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove pot from oven and stir in tomatoes and kale. Return pot to oven and continue to cook until beans and greens are fully tender, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
Remove pot from oven and submerge rosemary sprig in stew. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves and rosemary sprig; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, the stew over toasted bread, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and lightly drizzled with olive oil.

Notes

To quick-soak dried beans: Place the rinsed beans in a large heat-resistant bowl. Bring 2 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Pour the water over the beans and let them sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans well before proceeding with step 2.
If you do not want to use dried beans, you can substitute the dried beans for 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of cannellini beans. Drain and rinse the canned beans well before proceeding with step 3. Reduce cooking time in step 3 to 10 minutes if using canned beans.

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Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March 2008

 

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