Tuscan Wheat Berry Bean Soup is a hearty vegetarian meal that’s fit for Fall, served with a swirl of basil pesto and fresh parmesan cheese, all you need to add is a spoon and some crusty bread for dipping!
A few weekends ago, Fall weather officially hit Austin. It was gloomy, rainy and cloudy. The kind of rainy that just mists all day long, threatening to pour at any moment but never following through. Looking outside was just depressing but in the kitchen, I found the gloomy weather to be inspiring!
Set on creating a cozy, warm bowl of soup with limited supplies, I utilized celery and carrots from a leftover vegetable tray and a mason jar of wheat berries (that had been in my pantry way too long) to create this warming bowl of Tuscan Wheat Berry Bean Soup.
If you aren’t familiar with wheat berries, they’re a chewy whole grain that reminds me a bit of a cross between farro and barley. I’m sure you’re actually familiar with a byproduct of wheat berries — whole wheat flour!
But instead of being ground, these berries are left whole. In their whole state, wheat berries are full of nutrients like iron, protein, and fiber! They add a ton of vegetarian bulk to this Tuscan Wheat Berry Bean Soup and help make even a small portion super filling.
Also thrown into this Tuscan Wheat Berry Bean Soup are a few bay leaves, a heavy teaspoon of Italian seasoning and 3 cups a navy beans! I love beans in soup. Again, more fiber, added chew and a low calorie, good for your protein!
This soup is also super easy to make. You simply let everything simmer for about an hour, letting the Tuscan aroma fill your home until the wheat berries are cooked through.
To top off the soup before serving, I added a spoonful of my healthier basil pesto that you can swirl into the broth, more fresh basil, and a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese. It’s a bowl full of cozy that’s destined to transport your from that gloomy rainy day into the Tuscan countryside.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 large onion, sliced
- ¾ cup diced celery
- ¾ cup carrots, cuts into rounds
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup wheat berries, uncooked
- 4 cups stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, optional
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 6 tablespoons healthier basil pesto
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat 1-2 minutes
- Once the oil is warm, add the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots
- Season with salt and pepper then cook until tender
- Pour in the stock plus 2 cups water
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, wheat berries, bay leaves and Italian seasoning
- Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat so the mixture remains at a steady simmer
- Cover the pot and let simmer for about 1 hour, until wheat berries are cooked through
- Stir in the navy beans and fresh basil, adjusting seasoning as needed with salt and pepper
- To serve, spoon soup into bowls, top with healthier basil pesto and parmesan cheese