I came across this recipe on Lattes and Leggings. The photo grabbed me and with a snowstorm bearing down on the city, it seemed like the perfect night for a warm and hearty soup. The addition of cannellini beans hidden inside the soup made it all the more fulfilling. Topped with fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts, this soup is one of the most satisfying I’ve ever had.
Even my two year old liked it. I smashed the beans down with a fork for him and left out the pine nuts. He gobbled it up.
I switched out the yellow onion from the original recipe to leeks. They’re in season, I had a craving for them and it worked really well. To make things easier, you can find bags of pre-sliced leeks in the grocery store, which is what I used.
I stored a few one-cup portions into freezer bags (not including the Parmesan and pine nuts) for a quick dinner another night.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 leeks, sliced (about 3-4 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch broccoli, bottom stems trimmed and cut into florets (about 8 cups)
- kosher salt
- 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 parmesan rind
- 1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, for serving (see note below)
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leek and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the broccoli and season with salt. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. The broccoli will turn bright green. Add the broth and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Some of the parmesan rind will slowly melt into the soup.
Remove and discard the parmesan rind. Transfer the soup to a food processor. Puree the soup in batches. Return the pureed soup to the pot and add the beans. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes until warmed through. Season with salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if so desired. Serve.
Note: To toast the pine nuts, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, spreading them evenly in the pan. Stir occasionally until they are slightly golden 3 to 5 minutes.