Restorative Tuscan Bean Soup

Sturdy winter greens and pantry staples come together in this soothing soup. It is gluten free if you serve it without bread, and vegan if you make it with vegetable broth.

Tuscan Bean Soup with Crusty Bread

Tuscan Bean Soup

Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

1 medium Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ bunch Kale, chopped
½ bunch Broccoli Rabe, chopped (can substitute with Collard Greens, Spinach, or similar greens)
1 28-ounce can whole Tomatoes
2 14-ounce cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (can substitute other white beans),
4 cups Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
3 springs fresh Thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 16-ounce loaf crusty Italian bread (to serve, optional)


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the kale and broccoli rabe to the pot; increase the heat to medium, and stir the greens until they wilt.
  4. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pot.
  5. Add beans to the pot.
  6. Stir while adding the chicken or vegetable broth.
  7. Pluck the thyme leaves from their stems and add to the pot.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread
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Warming Winter Minestrone

This is a delicious winter soup that cooks in an hour, yielding a thick texture and delicious melding of veggies. The cheese offers just enough additional flavor richness. A good way to get many vitamins and fiber into your family’s diet, you will find all the fresh ingredients in your supermarket through February.

A bowl of minestrone soup topped with grated cheese, dinner napkin, spoon, and a wedge of cheese on the side

Winter Minestrone
Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

2 cups chopped Cabbage
1 cup chopped Cauliflower
1 cup diced Butternut squash or Pumpkin
½ cup diced Onion
½ cup diced Carrot
½ cup diced Celery
½ cup mixed dry Beans (French lentils, split peas, yellow lentils, small navy beans, barley, or use 1 cup Trader Joe Harvest Grains blend. Note: if using dried beans that requires longer cooking time, soak these in cold water overnight and drain before using)
1/3 pounds small Macaroni
¼ cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
¼ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
2 quarts water

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a pot.
2.  Set over high heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes. The finished soup should be very thick.
3.  Season with sea salt and serve hot with additional cheese.

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Chai Spice Baked Apples - Easy Recipe

Chai Spice Baked Apples

Easy holiday recipe - no rolling pins necessary!

chai spiced baked apples


3 Eggs 
1 cup Milk 
6 tablespoons Butter 
1 teaspoon Vanilla 
2/3 cup Flour 
¼ cup Sugar 
½ teaspoon Salt 
4 large Tart Apples, peeled, cored and segmented 
3 tablespoons Sugar 
1 ½ teaspoons Chai Spice (recipe follows)


  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, 4 tablespoons of butter (melted), vanilla.  
    Add flour, sugar, salt and mix well.  
  2. Heat a heavy skillet and melt the remaining  2 tablespoons butter.  
    Add the apples and 2.5 tablespoons of the remaining sugar and saute.  
    OPTIONAL: add ½ teaspoon of Chai Spice mix to apple saute. 
  3. Butter the pie pan. Pour half the batter into the pan.  
    Arrange sautéed apples in a spiral atop the batter (reserve the apple saute juices).  
    Pour remaining batter over the apples; pour the apple juices over the top.  
    Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of Chai Spice mix over the top.  
  4. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Chai Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground Cardamom 
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Ginger 
1/2 teaspoon ground Tellicherry Black Pepper 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg (optional)

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