alive logo

Zuppa di Fagioli


    Zuppa di Fagioli

    From Italy, zuppa di fagioli is often overlooked in favour of its more illustrious cousin, minestrone. This peasant soup, however, is full of flavour and can be vegetarian or not, depending on your preference.


    2 - 14 oz (400 g) cans low-sodium cannellini beans
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    1 leek (white and light green parts), cleaned and finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tsp (5 mL) fresh thyme leaves
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
    2 celery stalks, diced
    1 carrot, diced
    2 lbs (1 kg) spinach, trimmed and roughly chopped
    2 ripe tomatoes, diced
    4 cups (1 L) homemade or low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Put 1 can of beans with its liquid in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Drain other can, rinsing and reserving beans, and discarding liquid.

    Heat oil in large heavy-bottom pan over medium heat; add leek, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Add celery, carrot, spinach, and tomato; cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until spinach has wilted.

    Stir puréed beans and stock into vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add drained beans and stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Serve in warm bowls, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains: 335 calories; 20 g protein; 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 53 g carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 12 g fibre); 206 mg sodium

    Low in sodium, tomatoes are a great source of several vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of fibre. They contain vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, as well as vitamins A and K. Tomatoes also provide lycopene, which helps fight free radicals, lowers cholesterol, prevents heart disease, and helps with age-related vision problems.

    source: "International Soups", alive #360, October 2012


    Zuppa di Fagioli




    SEE MORE »
    Freeze-Ahead Breakfast Wraps with Sweet Potato, Red Pepper, and Spinach
    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.