I think this is a good base but is fairly bland as written. I debated throwing it out but then I added a handful of fresh chopped basil, some WW orzo, some tarragon, and dry sherry. The basil and dry sherry gave it a depth of flavor it lacked before. Now it's a keeper and my husband is asking for more.
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Rose Nguyen
Borlotti beans—the Italian variety of cranberry beans—can be ordered from www.ranchogordo.com, among other online retailers.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 224
- Fat: 5.7g
- Saturated fat: 2.4g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.1g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
- Protein: 14.9g
- Carbohydrate: 31.6g
- Fiber: 10.7g
- Cholesterol: 12mg
- Iron: 3mg
- Sodium: 662mg
- Calcium: 199mg
- 1 1/4 cups dried borlotti beans (about 1/2 pound)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped bacon (about 6 slices)
- 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 small)
- 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
- 3/4 cup chopped carrot (about 2 carrots)
- 3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chopped zucchini (about 2 medium)
- 6 cups chopped kale
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1. Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans.
- 2. Place beans in a large saucepan, and cover with water to 3 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Drain.
- 3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through garlic); sauté 4 minutes. Add zucchini; sauté 3 minutes. Add kale; sauté 2 minutes or until kale wilts. Add 3 cups water, tomato paste, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add beans; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper; sprinkle with cheese.
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