Given the grim history of the usage of the word, I’m not positive that there’s actually anything Tuscan about this bean soup, but it’s delicious nevertheless. The key is plenty of rosemary and a hunk of rind from some good Parmigiano-Reggiano tossed in while it simmers. Much like simmering chicken bones, a Parmesan rind will add both flavor and body to the mix. The difference is that this takes only minutes to reach excellence. That, and plenty of good olive oil for drizzling.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced or grated on a Microplane (about 4 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini or great northern beans, with their liquid
Four 6-inch sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped, stems reserved
One 3- to 4-inch chunk Parmesan rind, plus grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
2 bay leaves
3 to 4 cups roughly chopped kale or Swiss chard leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until softened but not
browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, beans, with their liquid, the rosemary stems, Parmesan rind, and bay leaves, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a bare simmer, add the kale, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
2. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary stems. Use an immersion blender to roughly puree some of the beans until the desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, transfer 2 cups of the soup to a regular blender or food processor and process until smooth, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, then return to the soup and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve with toasted crusty bread.