Once of my most vivid food memories is when I was in the Tuscany region of Italy. I had an inspiring Tuscan white bean soup–inspiring because it warmed my stomach.. and my soul. I was visiting my friend Grace, and she took me to a hole in the wall sandwich and soup cafe. The cafe was small and somewhat ordinary looking, but at lunchtime, the cafe bustled with Italians loudly ordering their soup to go in a language that was foreign to my ears. There is nothing more exciting for a traveling foodie, than finding that hole in the wall cafe that serves authentic regional food that the locals frequent.
I have ordered the “Tuscan bean soup” at several establishments since, but none compares.
Last week, I picked up “Country Tuscan Salad” from Trader Joe’s. I was drawn to it because it didn’t have meat, and it was much lower in sugar, fat, and calories than the other salads. What I hadn’t expected was to be brought back to the bustling cafe in Tuscany…
Though the salad did not remotely compare to the soup, the balance of flavors did. I recreated my own last night, since I don’t fancy paying $2.99 for a small salad.
- Diced green and red bell pepper
- shredded carrots
- shaved Parmesan
- white beans
- Parmesan garlic vinaigrette
- Toss the ingredients, and serve immediately.