Yes, this soup is delicious. No, I’m not from Tuscany but I sure do love their flavors! After doing a little research on exactly what makes a dish “Tuscan” I came up with this. The dish usually contains some sort of combination of celery, carrots, garlic, onion, parsley and other herbs, such as rosemary, bay or thyme. This soup is Italian comfort food at its finest, and the simplicity was key for me.
Last week was such a whirlwind for me. Dentist appointments, husband being gone for 2 ½ days, work at MnTC, blogging, cooking, cleaning, hosting community group, watching the Bachelor, etc… Which, by the way, what an odd season of the Bachelor, huh?! I’m glad he’s finally getting down to the quality girls and the crazies are starting to leave. I can’t help but feel sorry for them this season though – South Dakota, New Mexico, Iowa?? Normally by this time in the show they’d be off experiencing Europe or Asia or someplace a little more exotic than the rural Midwest. I’m not judging though – I just feel that I’m able to poke a little fun since I grew up in Nebraska countryside.
In an effort to spice up our photography I’ve been experimenting this week with garnishes. A great tip I learned from Plate to Pixel, a digital food photography and styling book by Helene DeJardin, is to think through every ingredient in your dish before starting to cook and select what you will want for your garnishes. For example, if you need to use fresh blueberries in the dish, be sure to go through all your blueberries and reserve a bowlful of the best looking ones! I put this into practice with the kale, sourdough bread, and fresh thyme.
This soup has more colors than a rainbow and I absolutely love that about it! Like I said in a previous post, anything you can produce that has a bright flare to it when you find yourself in the middle of Minnesota Winter is much needed.
Depending on if you’re a herbivore or a carnivore, you are welcome to adapt the meat however you choose. The soup would be perfectly yummy with only the cannellini beans sans meat as well, but I like the salty aspect of the ham which I why I made it this time like that! Also, depending on if you like a brothier soup or something a bit more creamy, you can cook as is, OR take out 1-2 cups of broth and veggies, blend them, then add back in. That way there is some more texture in the broth and it feels a little heartier going down.
Shoot me a message when you make this and I’ll be over for dinner! 🙂Print
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cups chopped butternut squash
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 (14 oz) cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups finely chopped kale
- 2 cups diced, cubed ham
- Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, carrots, squash, and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes to soften vegetables.
- Add beans, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to low boil.
- Add ham and all spices. Cover and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes.
- Add chopped kale, cook for 2-3 minutes until kale is softened.
- Serve with shredded cheese *optional* and toasted bread.