Video recipe: Tuscan bean soup

1/8 pound bacon, chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup carrots, washed, peeled, diced
1 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup celery, washed, diced
1 white potato, peeled, 1/4-inch dice
1-1/2 large red bell peppers, washed, seeded, medium dice
6 cups white beans, cooked, drained
1-1/2 quarts water
1 cup whole tomatoes, canned, processed slightly in food processor (or blender)
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. rosemary, fresh, washed

1. In a 1-gallon stock pot, add bacon (optional) and sauté over medium-high heat until lightly crisp, stirring constantly. Add oil, carrots, onions, celery, potato, and peppers and sauté until halfway tender, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add beans, water, tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and rosemary.

2. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. To serve, ladle into individual soup bowls. Serve warm.

ETC: Serve a moist cornbread and honey butter alongside this soup for a full meal experience.

Makes 4 quarts.

Courtesy of The Culinary Center of Kansas City. For more information, please visit kcculinary.com.