- 1 cup dried cannellini or other small white beans, soaked overnight
- 1 onion, quartered through root end
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 (28-ounce can) whole peeled tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, cored, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
- Chopped, unsalted, roasted almonds (for serving)
Step 1: Combine beans, onion, garlic, and bay leaves in a large pot and add cold water to cover by 2″. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, add several pinches of salt, and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook at a bare simmer until beans are creamy but still hold their shape, 35-45 minutes. Let beans cool in cooking liquid; discard bay leaves.
Do Ahead: Beans can be cooked 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Step 1: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Add tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and cook tomatoes, undisturbed, until caramelized and borderline blackened on one side, about 5 minutes. Break up tomatoes, scraping bottom of pot, and continue to cook, scraping and stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are caramelized all over, about 5 minutes more. Transfer tomatoes to plate.
Step 2: Heat another 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium. Add onion, fennel, garlic, and a pinch or so of red pepper flakes, if desired; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft and starting to brown around edges, 8-10 minutes. Stir in vinegar and tomatoes, scraping up browned bits. Drain beans and add to pot along with broth (for a thicker soup, use half of the broth plus 2 cups bean-cooking liquid). Bring to a simmer, season with salt. Cook until flavors meld, 30-45 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in chard and cook until wilted. Ladle soup into bowls, top with almonds, and drizzle with oil.
Do Ahead: Soup (without chard) can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
Enjoy this hearty vegetable soup from Epicurious!