It’s been a soupy week around here. I’ve said it probably one hundred times before, but I just love the process of making soup. It makes me feel grounded and fancy all at the same time. Simmering flavorful things in a pot (with a glass of wine on the side) is my idea of a perfect night. It could be Tuesday night, it could be Friday night – it doesn’t matter to me.
I made this one last weekend when my mom came to visit and again a few days later for Jack who had been out of town. The best part about all of this soup making (and testing and shooting) is the leftover lunch soup – because second day soup is where it’s at. Trust me, you’ll want to make extra and store away the leftovers for lunch all week. It gets better and better.
Because it’s the middle of winter, I used canned tomatoes, which makes this soup “soup-er” easy (get it? also – I’m so sorry). I thickened the soup with white beans (half blended and half left whole for texture). For extra creaminess, I also blended in some raw cashews. If you’re looking for a lighter more tomato-y soup, you can skip them – I actually like it both ways, depending on what I’m in the mood for.
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- splash of white wine (or a few teaspoons balsamic vinegar)
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
- 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup raw cashews (optional, for extra creaminess)
- 1½ cups cooked cannellini beans, divided
- 3 cups baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, and then add the garlic and carrots. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent and the carrots begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, breaking them up in the pot with a wooden spoon. Season with more salt and pepper and cook for 8 more minutes, or until the tomatoes cook down and continue to break apart.
- Add the wine, stir and let the alcohol cook off for about 1 minute. Add the cashews, if using, HALF of the white beans, the thyme sprigs, the broth and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the thyme sprigs from the pan and carefully pour the mixture into a blender, working in batches if necessary. Blend the soup then season to taste with salt, pepper. If the soup is too thick, add a little more broth or water.
- Pour the blended soup back into the pot. Add the remaining beans and the spinach and simmer over low heat until the spinach is wilted and the soup is hot. Season to taste and serve.