Tuscan Vegetable and Bean Soup is a favorite of the cold weather season. Hot, comforting, and packed with a unique flavor to make you smile on a chilly day. Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of delicious warm soup this time of the year? This recipe is packed with hot Italian sausage, spicy capicola, cannellini beans, celery, carrots, peas, diced tomatoes, and even tiny pasta, in a warm, flavorful vegetable broth to fill your belly on a chilly day.
Florida’s weather has been up and down this winter/early spring. We went from freezing our hind ends off when it was dropping down to the 20’s here in Central Florida, to melting the next week when our temps soared 15-20 degrees higher than our average temps. Can you say crazy? Don’t get me wrong; I love our winters, and I’m not a massive fan of the sweltering heat from May through October.
I decided I had better get in a big pot of one of my favorites, Tuscan Vegetable, and Bean Soup before we hit the warmer weather or my better half will catch an attitude if I make it during the warmer months. He will not even look at soup once it hits about 74 and above. Trust me on this one, friends. Just out of curiosity, do you eat soup all year round or only in the cold weather?
Soup is one of those versatile menu items that pretty much anyone can toss together quickly for lunch or dinner. Soup is forgiving; soup also doesn’t judge you when you are under the weather. Soup tries to comfort you on those days; soup even doesn’t mind if you’re in your pajamas because you too cold or lazy to get dressed on a cold day. That’s why I love soup.
Looking at all those fabulous ingredients in that bowl, I could go for another bowl of this incredible Tuscan Vegetable and Bean Soup, could you? Just imagine having some oven-hot fresh-baked crusty Italian bread to mop up the broth. Oh my, how deliciously tempting, isn’t it? What are you waiting for? Check your pantry and fridge to see if you have the ingredients needed to get started.
One pound of cooked hot Italian sausage links cooked and sliced
Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Two ounces deli-sliced hot capicola chopped
One yellow onion, chopped
Five cloves garlic, finely chopped
Two carrots halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Two stalks celery, thinly sliced
Two carrots, thinly sliced
Two 15-ounce cans of organic cannellini beans
Two 15-ounce can organic diced tomatoes
One cup of organic frozen peas
Three cups of low sodium vegetable broth
Three tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 of a cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Two tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups of cooked Ditalini pasta- al dente
Frequently asked questions
Can I use mild Italian sausage instead of hot Italian sausage? If you prefer the mild by all means, feel free to use it in the recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup.
What is Hot Capicola ham? Capicola is deli meat used in most Italian Hoagie or Italian Subs. Capicola is made from the pork shoulder butt that has been soaked in brine then cooked. Capicola is usually seasoned with hot pepper flakes, salt, and garlic. It has a marbled appearance and a savory bold, rich flavor.
I don’t have yellow onions. Can I use Vidalia onions or another type of onion instead? I would not use a sweet onion such as Vidalia in the recipe. I would suggest a white onion instead as believe it or not; it does change the flavor of the soup drastically.
Can I use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth? Vegetable broth is a preferred ingredient in this recipe. Still, if desired, you can make subtle changes if necessary; however, it does change the integrity of this recipe and the taste of the soup.
I do not have fresh parsley or fresh basil; what can I do? Fresh parsley is recommended over dried parsley due to the drastic differences in taste. However, dried basil can be used in place of fresh basil if need be.
What is Ditalini Pasta? Ditalini pasta is a type of pasta that is shaped like tiny tubes. The translation from the Italian language to English is *small thimbles*. It has been described as thimble-sized or as a very short macaroni. Ditalini pasta can be used in Pasta e Fagioli, Minestrone, or any other classic Italian-American pasta soup.
How long can I store the Tuscan bean soup in the refrigerator? If stored in an air-tight container, the soup will safely last 3-4 days in a fridge.
Can I freeze this soup recipe? Absolutely! You can safely store the soup in a freezer-safe air-tight container for 1-2 months.
Tuscan Bean Soup
- 1 pound of cooked hot Italian sausage links cooked and sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces deli-sliced hot capicola chopped
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 carrots halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 2 carrots thinly sliced
- 2 15- ounce can of cannellini beans
- 2 15- ounce can organic diced tomatoes
- 1 cup organic frozen peas
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 of cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups of cooked Ditalini- al dente
- Cook 1 pound of Italian sausage links till browned, remove from pan and place on platter to cool, slice into rounds.
- Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the capicola, red onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the hot Italian sausage, cannellini beans, tomatoes, peas, 3 cups vegetable broth, the Parmesan,1/4 of cup chopped flat leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat source, ladle into soup bowls over cooked Ditalini pasta, and serve with warm crusty bread.
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