Tuscan Soup

8 oz (1 1/3 cups) dry Great Northern beans, rinsed and sorted through for stones, etc.

4 large leeks, washed

8 medium carrots, washed

8 medium all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed

½ head of medium sized cabbage, outermost leaves abandoned

3 celery stalks with leaves, washed

8 meaty (Roma-type) tomatoes, washed

olive oil (cold-pressed, extra-virgin)

3 or 4 large garlic cloves





freshly ground black pepper

crushed red pepper, (hot)

plain low fat yogurt

bunch of fresh parsley, rinsed

In large (4-quart) cook-pot, heat beans and 8 cups water to boiling over high heat; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand one hour. Drain beans.

Add 6 cups fresh water back to beans, and add sliced carrots, diced potatoes, cut up tomatoes. In separate saucepan, sauté sliced leeks in 3-4 T. olive oil. (Watch for grit in folds of leeks as you slice them into sautéing pan). Add coarsely chopped cabbage, and the sliced celery; sauté until slightly browned. Add this mixture to soup pot. Add all spices to taste, except garlic, parsley, and yogurt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 40 minutes to an hour, until beans are tender. (Stir from time to time. Watch liquid levels. Add hot water if necessary.)

When beans are tender, remove pot from heat. Peel garlic cloves, slice thinly, and add to soup. Add a cup of the fresh parsley, chopped, reserving a little bit. Ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of plain yogurt to the top center of each bowl of soup, and cut the last of the fresh parsley over the yogurt.

Serve with thick bread and a favorite cheese.

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© 2004 by Pamela Thompson, Giving Ground - all rights reserved

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