Italian Tuscan Vegetable Soup

This soup is based on the Italian soup la ribollita, which was reheated and stretched over many meals. It’s packed with root vegetables, chard and beans and topped with crunchy garlic toasts. Although any type of chard can be used, look for a red-stemmed or rainbow variety for color. The stems cook longer than the leaves, so they’re added first.

SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 medium leeks, halved, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 parsnips, chopped
2 small turnips, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 red new potatoes, unpeeled, diced (3/4 inch)
2 (32-oz.) containers lower-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15- or 19-oz.) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed

GARLIC TOASTS

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
8 slices ciabatta bread
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips and turnips; stir to combine. Place circle of parchment paper or foil on top of vegetables; cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables have begun to sweat and are glistening.

2. Meanwhile, diagonally slice chard stems to equal 1 cup. Coarsely chop chard leaves to equal 3 cups. (Reserve remaining chard for another use.)

3. Remove cover and paper from pot. Add 6 garlic cloves; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in potatoes. Add broth, basil, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender.

4. Stir in beans and chard stems; cook 4 minutes. Add chard leaves; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. (Soup can be made to this point 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

5. Before serving, heat broiler. Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and 1 garlic clove; brush over both sides of bread. Place on baking sheet. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden brown, turning once. Top each serving with 1 garlic toast; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.

8 (about 1 1/2-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 340 calories, 7 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 16 g protein, 55 g carbohydrate, 5 mg cholesterol, 1260 mg sodium, 9 g fiber


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