Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Tuscan vegetable soupHere’s a lusty peasant soup inspired by warm spring days in Tuscany! The ingredients are simple and the end result is light and fresh, perfect for this time of year.

I enjoy Swiss chard here, but you could use spinach, kale, or even collards—nearly any green that isn’t too bitter.

If you feel so inspired many other vegetables could be added here. But don’t be tempted to make this too hearty. Its beauty is in the basic preparation.

Serve this with beautiful golden slices of fresh bread, perfect for getting the last bit of soup from the bowl. It’s a natural for my Seeded Italian Loaf, but would also be wonderful with Red Wine Ciabatta.

The Parmesan rind adds a complexity and richness of flavor. Most of it will melt right in. What doesn’t can be tossed out. Save those old Parmesan rinds in the freezer! They’re perfect for recipes like this and wonderful in pasta sauce. If you don’t have or don’t want to use the rind just leave that out.

Swiss chardTuscan Vegetable Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
2” rind of Parmesan
1 lb Swiss chard, rinsed and coarsely chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and crushed red pepper, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Tuscan vegetable soup

Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer 1 hour, stirring frequently. Add more water if needed.

Tuscan vegetable soup

Serve with crostini or garlic toast. You might enjoy putting the toasts in the bottom of the bowl and pouring the soup on top, but I don’t roll that way.

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