|1||cup dried cannellini or borlotti beans, soaked overnight and drained|
|2||teaspoons salt, and more to taste|
|3/4||cup olive oil|
|1||large onion, finely chopped|
|2||carrots, finely chopped|
|4||cloves garlic, coarsely chopped|
|5||sprigs fresh thyme|
|1||small leek, finely chopped|
|1/2||pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths|
|2||medium zucchini, cut into small dice|
|2||tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped|
|2||cups (about 1 pound) fresh spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped|
1. In a large, wide pot, combine the beans with water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Add a generous pinch of salt at the end of cooking. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. (This will yield 2 1/2 to 3 cups of cooked beans.)
2. In a flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the water and bring to a boil.
3. Stir in the leek and green beans. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and tomatoes. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Taste for salt and add more, if you like.
4. Add the cooked beans, 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, and the spinach. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. (The soup simmers for 45 minutes.) If the soup is too thick, add more cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf.
|2||teaspoons olive oil|
|1||tablespoon grated Parmesan, or more to taste|
1. Ladle the soup into bowls.
2. Sprinkle each with olive oil and Parmesan. - Adapted from "The Art of Simple Food"