Joe's Short Cut Big Italian Soup

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12 Bowls Easy
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Ingredients (19)

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped onions
  • 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 1 fennel bulb roughly chopped
  • Stems from1 bunch of Swiss chard roughly chopped
  • Leaves from one bunch of Swiss chard
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 cups low sodium fat free chicken stock
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh basil
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 16-ounce cans of Cannelini beans (I use Progresso)
  • 28 ounces of San Marzano, crushed by hand (Strianese tomatoes are what I use)


This soup resulted from having this particular set of veggies in the house at the time. I was cooking for a group of relatives and had to prepare the meal at my home and take it to their home. I wanted something easy and so I was making what we refer to as interesting grilled cheese night. The meal consists of a nice soup and a grilled cheese sandwich made from interesting bread, cheese and filling. Interesting bread might be a semolina and sesame seed loaf, with some imported Fontina, basil leafs but it could be any combo of breads, cheeses and other fillers. At any rate the soup was a big hit, even with the kids.


  1. 1In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. 2Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, fennel and chard stems.
  3. 3Salt the vegetables; cover and sweat them until softened, probably 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. 4Uncover, and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the parsley, oregano, basil and red peeper flakes.
  5. 5Sauté the vegetables and spices until the water has evaporated. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  6. 6Clear a place in the center of the vegetables and add the tomato paste. Caramelize the tomato paste. It will brown in the hot pan. Careful not to burn the tomato paste as it is quite bitter if this occurs.
  7. 7Drain the cannelini beans and wash off the thick canning liquid.
  8. 8Add the cannelini beans. Add the crushed tomatoes. Add the 8 cups of chicken stock, the bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Adjust the salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for ½ hour.
  9. 9Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the chard leaves and cook for another 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve.
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