Tuscan Bean Soup

Tuscan Bean Soup

It may be cold outside but it's the perfect time to stay cozy in the kitchen and whip up some warming winter fare.

Tuscan Bean Soup

Should you prefer a more coarsely textured soup, process only half the bean mixture. It’s a good idea to stir through some chopped parsley before serving. You can also substitute the lard with good-quality olive oil. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

Recipe courtesy of The Australian Gourmet Traveller, May 2010


  • 2 tablespoons lard or olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 1onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • 1.2 litres of chicken stock
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
  • For crotons
  • 80 ml(1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 150 gm day-old ciabatta loaf, cut into rough cubes


  1. Heat lard or olive in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat, add leek, onion and garlic and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add beans and stock, bring to a boil, then cook over low-medium heat until beans are very tender (45 mins -1 hour; add more stock if beans become too dry).
  2. Meanwhile, for croutons, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add ciabatta and stir frequently until golden and crisp (2-4 minutes), then set aside on absorbent paper to drain.
  3. Transfer bean mixture to a food processor and process, in batches, with cream until smooth (alternatively, you can use a hand-held blender). Season to taste and serve hot, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with crotons.

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