Since fall and winter are full of shorter, darker days, we're going to need some coping strategies, and this hearty Tuscan bean soup is one of the more effective. There's just something about that combo of smooth, silky soup, and crunchy, crispy croutons that makes everything seem okay.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
45 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add butter; allow butter to melt. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook and stir until onion begins to turn translucent and golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 more minute. Add beans and broth. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Set heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

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  • Place bread cubes in a saute pan. Drizzle with olive oil; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toast bread cubes over medium heat until golden brown and crunchy, tossing occasionally, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle grated cheese over the bread cubes and continue to brown cubes about 2 more minutes.

  • Puree soup with an immersion blender until it is very smooth. Whisk in creme fraiche. Stir in lemon juice. Serve topped with browned bread cubes and chopped parsley.

Cook's Notes:

This recipe is also a fantastic base for creating even more substantial weeknight meals. Things like sausage, peppers, and/or maybe a handful of greens, always works in this.

In the video, I pureed the veggies, but I think dicing them actually provides better flavor.

Nutrition Facts

432 calories; protein 12.7g 25% DV; carbohydrates 44.4g 14% DV; fat 23.1g 36% DV; cholesterol 42mg 14% DV; sodium 1611.1mg 64% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (22)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2015
I did not make any changes since I was making it for the first time and wanted to see how Chef John meant for the soup to come out. It was brilliant. The medley of tastes was wonderful. Next time I will take up Chef John on leaving the veggies diced. Read More
(5)
32 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 27
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2015
I did not make any changes since I was making it for the first time and wanted to see how Chef John meant for the soup to come out. It was brilliant. The medley of tastes was wonderful. Next time I will take up Chef John on leaving the veggies diced. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2015
This was SOOOO GOOD!! And I didn't even have the rosemary...didn't miss it! I found the creme fraiche at Publix but it's easy to make your own. You just need to make it a day or two in advance. Definitely make the homemade croutons! They are delicious and so much better than the pre-made kind (I used fresh sour dough bread from Publix). The only thing I would do differently would be to decrease the cayenne pepper to 1/4 tsp. My husband and son didn't think it was too hot but it was burning my mouth! I will definitely make this yummy soup again. Thanks Chef John!! Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
02/04/2017
I'm sort of a self-proclaimed soup aficionado and was anxious to try this recipe. I made it to recipe and decided that this soup is good but not great; the croutons though were great! In fact my guest were eating them as fast as I could make them and I was afraid I might not have enough for the soup! They did add to the flavor of the soup. If I were to make this again I think I would add the sausage as some suggested or bacon to up the flavor. Thanks Chef John for this recipe. You are right it would make a good base for other meals. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2018
Have made this a number of times and it is so great. I don’t make any modifications to the recipe Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2017
Delicious. Even good with out the cream if you need to avoid dairy. I used only 1/8 tsp. Ayenne pepper and it still had a pop without being too spicy Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
07/10/2016
Excellent. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
01/13/2017
I loved it. Husband rated it 8.5 /10;/ Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
02/27/2016
Added some bacon. Delicious! Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
10/11/2018
It was good I forgot to put the carrot and used only dried thyme. Its an easy quick and filling weekday dinner. I used evaporated milk instead of creme fraiche to make it lighter. I also added spinach to add more nutrition. The croutons definitely helped make it substantial. Even better served the next day. Read More
(1)