Tuscan Tomato and Bean Soup
Tuscan Tomato and Bean Soup

This recipe comes courtesy of Ron Merlin, a voracious blogger and respected foodie who also has a talent for photographing his creations -

I've decided to go with an Irish dish adapted from Tuscan Tomato and Bean Soup and although I am certainly a meat eater, this is a wonderful vegetarian soup also.


¼ cup olive oil

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

2 red onions, peeled and diced

3 stalks celery, washed and diced

3 carrots diced

1 or 2 large diced fennel bulb(s)

2 400gm can crushed or diced tomatoes with puree

4 fresh plum tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 litres vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste (Cook first then season, it will take quite a bit of each but test after each addition)

2 x 400gm cans Cannelloni Beans (white Italian kidney beans), rinsed and drained.


Now, throw that olive oil in the bottom of a traditional pot or dutch oven and turn the heat up to medium.

Saute, the potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and fennel, until the onions wilt…10 minutes, stir 'em up occasionally.

Now, here's the cool part. Well, Cool Part No. 1.  Dump everything else into the pot except the beans…Yeah, just do it…I love this recipe…just heap it in.

Now stir a few times, turn the heat up high, bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer until all the vegetables are completely cooked through…1 - 2 hours.

And then get your immersion blender (here's the second cool part) or a potato masher, remove and puree half of the stock and pour it back into the pot.

Be careful now, you want to leave about half the soup with bite, and vegetables, and onion, and delicious fennel, yet you also want a firm and delicious background to the beans…with vegetables…If you pulse too long…(just a thought) it'll pulverise the soup and you'll have no vegetables and beans, ya know?

And not to totally horrify my vegetarian friends, but you could cut up some boiled Kielbasa (Polish sausage - Ed), and heat it up in there too.

Stir, and salt and pepper some more, you want it just right.

And spoon some into a bowl, with a dollop of sour cream, or, as I did last night, I heated the soup with a slice of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar…delicious…

Thank you Ireland.

Soup with Fennel is cool. There's a sentence I thought I'd never say.

Looking for an easy camp bread to go with this recipe? Try making - Naan.


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