The beauty of this soup--aside from the garden-fresh flavors and quick cooking—is how easily it adapts to suit the seasons. Replace the canned tomatoes with vine-ripened tomatoes and some sweet, tender green beans or fresh peas in summer, or swap the kale for a combination of your favorite hearty greens, once the air turns crisp. Add a cup of short pasta along with the beans for a truly soul-warming winter soup.
Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 45 Minutes
Cookware: 8-quart Stockpot
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1 large onion, chopped medium
- 2 carrots, chopped medium
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped medium
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1 (19 ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch kale, or Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves washed and coarsely chopped
- 1 zucchini, diced medium
- 1 yellow squash, diced medium
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 8-quart Stockpot over medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil onions, carrots, fennel, garlic, and season with salt. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened.
Stir in the broth, tomatoes, beans, kale, zucchini, squash, and bell pepper, and season with black pepper.
Cover and cook over medium heat until steam just begins to escape from under the lid, about 5 minutes.
Spin the lid to engage the vapor seal then immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. (After about 10 minutes give the lid a quick spin—if it spins easily, leave it alone until it’s done. If not, increase the heat to re-engage the water seal then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking as directed.)