Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tomato, White Bean and Spinach Soup

We are having a typical October around here.  Yesterday the temperatures climbed to the mid-70s.  Today started at 51 degrees and is expected to reach a high of 60.  There is no sign of the sun yet but it is early.  The wind is sending a few leaves skittering outside my window.  After a few errands, I plan to stay in and work on the cluttered drawers in the dresser and the cluttered closet shelves.  I have declared myself the "curator of clutter" and plan to continue curating it right out the door!!  I don't even have to stop to prepare dinner.  There's a container of soup in the refrigerator.  Such a comforting thing.

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, it will still be tasty.

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. i just got and email from a friend who was making white chili using white beans. i told her i had forgotten about white beans and i love them. your soup looks good and now i will remember to get white beans. we are not in soup weather yet but i can eat them any way

  2. White beans are my favorite ingredient in soup and yours looks marvelous Bonnie. Our temperatures here in the mountains are similar to yours right now, but frankly I'm always in the mood for soup, no matter what time of the year.

  3. YUM---I love white beans and this soup looks delicious... It's a perfect time of the year for some hearty soups.... YUM.. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love pretty little warming soups:) And fall foliage in the sun..and leaves falling in the rain.
    It's the most beautiful time of the year.

  5. This goes on my to-cook list. Love soups at this time of year. I ordered my first new turtleneck of the season yesterday and I am beginning to realize that the days will get colder.

  6. Your soup is my kind of soup, Bonnie! It sounds great! I agree with you about soup ingredients, about anything goes. We drove up to Lake Geneva this morning, good and chilly up there also, but gorgeous as usual with the trees starting to turn. Have a good rest of the week!

  7. A great soup for a cool Fall day. We are kind having
    "Indian Summer" as they say right now. The end of
    the week looks to be cool though.

    M : )

  8. Look perfect and delicious Bonnie :)

  9. No need to make any excuses for your soup methods. I may call a certain soup by a name, but it might be different every single time I make it. Sometimes my taste (or the weather, or my fridge) "needs" certain ingredients and sometimes others. And it always comes out just fine. Every Wednesday in winter is soup night at our house.

  10. What a delicious soup loaded with my favorites. I made my first soup this past week too. It's going to be a chilly weekend here!

  11. I agree that soup is the best way to get creative while being frugal. Soups are very forgiving if you don't follow a recipe to the letter. And I rarely do, which bothers Mr. Rosemary to no end!

  12. Almost looks too pretty to eat....almost :)

  13. Soup is perfect for this time of year - I'm just about to make some for dinner! Yours looks amazing, and I agree that you don't need to follow a recipe.


I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.