Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Easy Tuscany Bean Soup

If you keep an assortment of tinned beans and tomatoes in your cupboard, you will always have the makings of a delicious meal to hand. With only a few additional ingredients, you can be eating like royalty in no time at all.

Some of the beans I like to keep on hand are borlotti, cannellini, kidney,butterbeans, chickpeas, and pinto . . . to name but a few. They come in really handy for all sorts. Canned beans are excellent value for money. They are not only very nutritious, low in fat and a good source of fibre and protein, but they also save the chore of having to soak dried beans overnight and then cooking them the next day. With a good rinsing, you probably wouldn't be able to note much of a difference between them and freshly cooked ones . . .

I also keep several varieties of tomatoes . . . whole and chopped italian plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomato passata, condensed tomato puree (sun dried and regular, a few tins with garlic and olive oil already added, and my treasured American ro-tel tomatoes, which have chopped green chilies already added. I love the tuscany tomatoes as they are brighter in colour and much sweeter than the regular variety of tinned tomatoes, but I save them for special dishes as they cost a bit more.

We often eat soup for lunch or dinner in the wintertime. It's a great way of using up extra bits of vegetables that look to be getting a bit tired and need using up, and an excellent way of feeding a large group of people. I often make large batches and then freeze the excess in smaller containers to take out at a later date.

This is a particularly tasty soup that comes from one of my favourite regions of Italy. I'm afraid I have anglicized it a bit, to suit my own tastes and what I had on hand. I like think my version is healthier because there is no fat in it. I thicken it with breadcrumbs and of course the beans help to thicken it a bit as well.

The addition of the redcurrant jelly gives it an extra layer of flavour, which will have your guests wondering what that elusive flavour is that makes it taste that much more delicious.

*Easy Tuscany Bean Soup*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

A very delicious soup made quickly from store cupboard ingredients. It is very healthy and low in fat, as well as hearty and filling. A family favourite.

! medium leek, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped finely
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped finely
1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes (2 cups)
1 1/2 pints vegetable stock (3 cups)
1 (400g) tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
2 TBS red currant jelly
2 TBS tomato puree (tomato paste)
4 TBS fresh bread crumbs
salt and pepper
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish

Place the prepared vegetables into a large saucepan. Add the chopped tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the rinsed beans, red currant jelly and tomato puree. Simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the breadcrumbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for a couple of minutes. Ladle into hot soup bowls. Garnish with parsley and serve with warm crusty bread. Delicious!


  1. This sounds wonderful! I don't think I've ever seen red currant jelly where I live, I'll have to keep on the look out!

  2. Yummmmmmm! This looks so good! My husband will really love this one! Love the addition of red currant jelly--very clever!

    Hope you're having a lovely Sunday, Marie! I'm off to bed now--can't believe I'm up this late! Talk to you tomorrow!

  3. Me apunto esta receta. Tiene una pinta estupenda

  4. This sounds very good indeed. I'm on a soup kick. This would be perfect for weekday lunches when I'm at work. Thank you!

  5. I think a trip to the English food store is in order to get red currant jelly! Your soup looks delicious and I'm sure that it tastes just so.
    I made your lemon chicken for dinner last night and everyone loved it! Thanks so much for sharing your tasty creations. :)

  6. This is wonderful, and it's meat-free... I love it! I love beans, and anything tomato-y... and just love most any soup. This is so easy and beautiful. Oh, I made your soda farls on Friday night--delicious--we both enjoyed that recipe so much and will make again soon. Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YA ((BIG HUGS))

  7. This morning you are my second viewing of Tuscan Bean Soup..:) Make me double crave it!

  8. What a nice "pantry" soup. Good idea! We usually have a supply of canned foods to get us through Hurricane season...then we use it up over the winter. I love that you added leeks to this!

  9. looks very nice. Will try this with dry beans since I don't have canned. Maybe toss in some kale too. Thanks for the inspiration! Rick Perry

  10. What a delicious and comforting soup! I love the little twist with the jelly. It's my first time here and all of your recipes look excellent - my kind of food!

  11. Sunday nights in the winter months is soup time here. This would be a lovely addition to our Sunday night dinners.

  12. Hi there, thank you so much for writing about RO*TEL. We love this recipe and think you should enter it into our recipe contest for a chance to win $2,000. For more info visit

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  13. Why did I just try this now?
    Perfectly Delicious.
    I just add 1 bay leaf.
    Don't know why :) I feel like :)


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