Hearty Peasant Soup

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

Definitely not a salad green, broccoli rabe needs cooking to round out its flavors. This rustic soup is an excellent way to do so. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to give this soup a more robust flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for seasoning, if desired

  • 2 cans (14 ½ ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice

  • 2 cans (14 ½ ounces each) cannelini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) broccoli rabe, cut crosswise 1 inch thick and well washed, with water still clinging to it (blanched if desired)

  • 4 thick slices rustic whole-wheat bread, toasted


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add tomato paste and vinegar; cook, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes (with their juice), beans, broccoli rabe, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broccoli rabe is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

  4. To serve, place a slice of toasted bread in the bottom of each serving bowl; ladle soup over toast.

Cook's Notes

Before you add the greens to the pot, clean them thoroughly. After cutting broccoli rabe, place it in a large bowl of cold water and agitate it to loosen dirt. Lift the broccoli rabe from the bowl (leaving dirt and silt behind) and repeat if necessary.

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