For the super-simple version of this soup:
- Bring 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth just to a boil.
- Add a can or two of drained white beans or a cup or two of cooked white beans and cook until beans are heated through.
- Add a few handful of spinach, chard, or other cooking green (cut any greens besides spinach or arugula into bite-size pieces or cut into thin ribbon/shreds). Simmer until greens are fully wilted.
- Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil, a few gratings of Parmesan, and/or freshly ground black pepper, as you like.
- If you want to use some aromatics, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a pot. Add a chopped onion, a chopped leek, a couple chopped shallots, or a few cloves of minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until aromatics are soft, about 3 minutes.
- Spice it up with a shake or two of red chile flakes.
- If using chard, remove the white ribs, chop them, and cook them as aromatics at the beginning of making the soup.
- Switch up the flavor profile by seasoning the broth with a bit of soy sauce and drizzling each serving with some toasted sesame oil.
- Add a cup or so of cooked barley for a heartier soup.
- Add a pound of tofu or cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces, for a protein kick.