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March 8, 2010

Last night I made a quick potage, which is a French-style bean soup full of vegetables.  At the end you stir in some


spoonfuls of Parmesan cheese and pesto, which gives amazing flavor to the soup.  This soup is kind of Spring, could be good in Summer, and it’s hearty enough for Winter, and really healthy.   It would be great served with some crostini with olive tapenade, or a salad.  It’s actually a quick dinner because there isn’t too much chopping- just a lot of can opening.  And it cooks in 20 minutes.  The recipe, which comes from The Splendid Table’s What to Have for Supper, called for using a Parmesan rind, which I did and highly recommend.  It adds a lot of richness to the soup.  If you don’t have one, the pesto and cheese stirred in at the end adds a lot of flavor too.  This recipe serves 4 generously.


1 T olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 carrot, cut into 1/4″ dice

1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4″ dice

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 whole cloves or 2 dashes ground cloves

3 bay leaves

1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes

1 14 oz can chickpeas

1 14 oz can great northern or cannellini beans

1 12 oz package frozen lima beans (I used giant Fordhook limas)

1 big handful green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ lengths

3 c vegetable broth or water

1 Russet potato, scrubbed and thinly sliced (I kept the skin on)

1 Parmesan rind

1/2 c prepared pesto

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add onion, carrots, celery, cloves, garlic and bay leaves and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cannellini  or Great Northern beans, lima beans, green beans, broth, sliced potato and Parmesan rind and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, adding more broth or water to thin it down if you need to.  When the potatoes and green beans are tender, it’s ready to serve.  Taste for seasoning and ladle into bowl.  Add a spoonful of pesto and grated Parmesan, stir into the soup and serve.

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