Tuscan White Bean Soup with Broccoli Rabe

Chef Emeril Lagasse


Yields:about 6 servings, 3 ¼ quarts


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups small diced onion
  • 1 cup small diced celery
  • 1 cup small diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or canned, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 pounds dried white beans (cannellini, baby lima or great northern), rinsed, picked over and soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 piece parmesan rind, about 1- by 3- inches
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli rabe, tough stem ends trimmed, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 ounces finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


Heat the olive oil in an 8 quart soup pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, dried Italian herbs, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, water, beans, parmesan rind, and bay leaf and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, remove about 1 cup of the beans from the pot and smash them with a back of a spoon. Return the smashed beans to the soup and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and continue to cook, uncovered, until the broth slightly thickens, about 15 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, rosemary sprig and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove the parmesan rind, bay leaf and rosemary sprig and discard them. Serve the soup in wide, shallow bowls, garnished with grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, as desired.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, Harper Studio Publishers, New York, 2011, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.