This rustic soup is an excellent way to round out the flavors in broccoli rabe. But before you add the greens to the pot, clean them thoroughly. After cutting broccoli rabe as indicated in the recipe below, 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.
- 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 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
- 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) cannellini 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
- 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.
- Add tomato paste and vinegar; cook, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- 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.
- To serve, place a slice of toasted bread in the bottom of each serving bowl; ladle soup over toast.