Ahhh Firenze! Who doesn’t love Florence, Italy and all of the beauty it offers us? I was sitting on my couch about a year ago looking at a photo of the Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge in Florence) and started thinking about my time spent attending school in Florence. During that period of time, I tasted some amazing foods – especially at a restaurant called Leo’s. One soup in particular really stuck with me – a white bean, carrot and spinach soup. It was just simply yummy!
I decided to Google those ingredients but never found exactly what I was looking for. Then one day I came across the William Sonoma Soups book and there it was! It had the look, colors and ingredients I had been searching for – I could actually taste the soup from so long ago while staring at the photo on the page.
I loved how quick and easy this recipe seemed and I actually had almost all of the ingredients already in my house. Well, there are random ingredients I don’t like very much, such as parsley, so I tend to omit those and just add the ones I love =)
Here is my version of William Sonoma’s Florentine White Bean Soup! I hope it transports you to the beautiful city of Firenze.
2 cans (each 14½ oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups finely chopped baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ cup Parmigiana Reggiano
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. When it is hot, add the onion and carrots and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, mixing well, about 1 minute.
Add the broth and beans.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted and the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the Parmigiana Reggiano and serve immediately.
Be careful to only use 2 Tbs. of oil - oily soup is not a good thing.
If you are wondering what it would taste like if you substitute vegetable broth instead of chicken broth - I tried and it did not work for me. It changed the taste tremendously and my family did not like the change.
I use Amore tomato paste which comes in a tube. I buy mine at the grocery store. A big THANK YOU to Giada DeLaurentiis for mentioning this tube version on her show!