Wednesday, January 26, 2011

*Re/Pa Tomato, White Bean and Spinach Soup

Have I mentioned that I've been cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator?  I have.  I've managed to come up with a few Refrigerator/Pantry* recipes worthy of posting.  Others would have you clicking to another blog as fast as your fingers could find one.  Not that they haven't been healthy.  They've just been odd.

It's hard to go wrong with a soup.  I did read once that soups should be put together carefully and with purpose.  Just tossing ingredients into a pot did not make a soup worthy of eating.  I totally disagree!  To be honest, I can't remember the last time I faithfully followed a soup recipe.  Sometimes I don't have all the listed ingredients.  There are times I think I can improve on the recipe.  Maybe it's just using canned beans instead of soaking and cooking the dried ones.  Enough with excuses!  This soup is one from an obscure source that has changed a little every time I've made a pot.

Here's my recipe.  Improvise all you want.  As for the Parmesan rind:  It takes a while to use up fresh Parmesan to have a rind for the soup pot.  I've found containers of Parmesan rind at my Whole Foods for just a few dollars.  If you don't have a Whole Foods, check your local grocery.  They are a very nice addition to the soup but, if you don't have one, omit it.

Tomato, White Bean and Spinach Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tsp sugar
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes with their juice
2 Tbsp tomato paste (I keep a tube of tomato paste in the refrigerator)
1 14 oz. can white beans drained and rinsed
6 oz (or so) of baby spinach (or another green that you might like)
2 x 1 inch (or so) of Parmesan rind

1.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for one minute.
2.  Pour in the chicken stock, stir in the sugar, add the bay leaf, tomatoes and tomato paste.  Simmer covered,  for about 20 minutes.
3.  Add the beans and the Parmesan rind.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.
4.  Check the seasonings and add salt and pepper if needed.  Add the spinach and cook for 10 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
5.  Remove the bay leaf and the Parmesan rind.

ENJOY with a nice crusty bread!


  1. What would we do without soup? I think it may be the most creative cooking we have ... as you noted, you never make it quite the same a second time.
    I'm intrigued by the "tube" of tomato paste. Where do you buy that? Does it keep a long while or can you freeze it?

  2. This looks very good, soup may be my favorite food. I've never heard of parmesan rind! You can cook with it? What else could you use it for? I use fresh wedges of parmesan and shave them into salads and such, but they have no rind. Are the rinds refrigerated in with the cheeses?

  3. the right time of the year for this soup and it even looks pretty and i know it taste good. i always thought soup was better thrown together. my mother was famous for making soup from all kinds of things, no recipe, she just used what she had.

  4. I am with you... Bryan's soup recipe from his restaurant years

    1. leftovers from yesterday's special
    2. Vegetables that may not make it another day
    3. pan drippings
    4. water, cream, milk or stock depending on mood

    heat, Sell for $4.95

    your recipe looks great by the way the parm rind would add a noce depth

  5. Your soup sounds wonderful...I bet that the recipes you did not post were also terrific...sometimes we are our own hardest critics..Well anyway...I bet this soup was great!Blessings, Catherine

  6. Soup is a staple at our house in the winter. Do try that Applebee's dressing. However, I feel that a rice wine vinegar would work best. I happened to be out, so used red wine vinegar, I think.
    : )

  7. Sounds great, Bonnie... There are times when we all have to clean out our frig's and freezers... A good soup usually does it. YUM...

  8. I bet that sure hits the spot on cold days. That crunch of the bread or dipping the bread in the soup...awesome.

    Pour up another bowl if you please, I will be there with desert.

  9. Your soup looks good- soup has become our go-to evening meal ever since the cold weather has set in. I buy those cheese rinds in Wegmans and keep them in the freezer- I find that they really add a lot of flavor! :)

  10. Bonnie, I loved the preamble to the soup recipe! I am a big Re/Pa cook. LOL! My family jokes that the best dishes come when, "there is nothing to cook." I'm pro improvision! This soup sounds yummy. I've never cooked with Parmesan rind. New ingredient!

  11. It's like pasta e fagioli without the pasta! Sounds delicious and I'm a new convert to the Parmesan rind in soup. What a difference it makes.

  12. I just love soup and this one is right up my alley! I love the richness the Parmesan rind adds and the freshness of the spinach and tomato - YUM! Thanks for sharing:)

  13. I completely agree with you! Soup should always be an improvisation in my book. I love creating a different pot each time! I am a huge fan of white beans, and Ryan is growing spinach in our garden. Perfect! Thank you so much for sharing with me tonight...and thanks for all the sweetness you leave on my means so much to me!

  14. Soup is such a versatile meal like pasta. I agree with you there is a big ground for improvisation. I am trying to clean my pantries all the time and they keep filling lol. I guess I have to stop visiting the s/m so often, that's the problem. Your soup looks delicious.

  15. I am so glad you stopped by my blog! I try to peruse the usual suspect followers when I comment on others' blogs, too :) Funny, I have a freezer bag full of parm rinds that I always forget to use for soup-- if only we all had that problem, right? Love your blog!

  16. Sounds like a diet-friendly meal, too! I could use a good pantry clean-out right now--mine is chaos!

  17. That sounds great! I agree, sometimes all you have to do for a good soup is throw some good ingredients into a big pot! Carla

  18. With just the two of us, I'm always cleaning out the Re/Pa and trying to use up leftovers. I'm with you when I think that some meals I put together from leftovers might seem strange to a lot of people, 99% of the time they are delicious. This morning for breakfast we had a tamale topped with a fried egg with rice on the side and a tortilla. Oh, and the rice was topped with the last 2 T of sour cream that was in the fridge :)

  19. Hmmm - so good. This soup has comfort written all over it.


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