One of the highlights of working from home is upgraded lunches.
Real talk, when it’s just me, I basically live off of cashews and cheese, but since both boys are home, I’m looking for improved options – like this Tuscan White Bean + Lemon Soup.
It preps easily in the slow cooker while you fine-tune your new morning. Or, let it cook all day for a delicious and healthy dinner.
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped (or maybe a big shallot! That’s what I used)
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 sage leaves
- pinches salt and pepper
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained
- 2 cups kale, roughly torn
- parmesan rind (or pecorino romano, which is what I always have)
- zest of one lemon
- juice of half a lemon
This seems like kind of a long list, but most stuff you prob have in your pantry/fridge or can sub. You’re not going to put in that kale until later, so if you have a different, less hardy green, it’ll be OK.
The recipe I followed said to simply put the first eight ingredients into a slow cooker, but if — no, when — I make this again, I will likely saute the carrot and onion first.
Then, add, along with stock, pesto, red pepper flakes, and sage, to your slow cooker and cook low for 6-8 hours or high 2-3. I was making this for lunch with a late start, so I did high. Maybe if I had the full 8 hours, the carrots would’ve softened enough for me on their own. Who knows. Part of cooking is the discovery.
About a half hour before lunch, I grabbed a half loaf of artisan cheese bread (frozen in its original bag) out of the freezer and let it thaw naturally. Once mostly thawed, I put in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes (5-10 is the guideline), then let it rest while I finished the rest of the soup.
Meanwhile, I added the beans, torn kale, lemon zest and juice to the soup.
For serving, I topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano (usually I have pecorino romano, which also would’ve solved my salt problem, but alas, I am out), freshly cracked pepper, a pinch of fleur de sel, and a drizzle of really good olive oil.
Served alongside some buttered cheese bread — my husband and I both had seconds and were fueled for the afternoon!
If making for dinner, I might add sausage next time or serve with a salad of greens. A nice glass of an Italian Grillo would go great with this as well. I like this one.