Cannellini Bean and Tomato Soup

Most of you are aware of the nasty glioblastoma business that Roger’s been courageously battling. He had been 18 months cancer free (well, as cancer free as one can be with GBM), and a little over a week ago a suspicious area was noted on his routine MRI. Grrr. Let me tell you people that there’s nothing scarier than receiving a phone call from one’s neuro-oncologist with a message to come into the office as soon as possible. First, you pick your stomach up off the floor, and then you get into the car and drive soundlessly to said clinic.

Surgery is over, and my Superman is home. We’re waiting patiently for the full pathology report, and we remain hopeful. Because I find expressing love with my Shun chef’s knife the fastest way possible, I decided to cook up some comfort food for his first meal home after surgery: tomato soup and grilled cheese. We’ll go back to eating oodles of kale and beaucoup veggies soon enough. Now was the time to deliver joy through food.

This soup recipe will serve 6



1-28 oz. can of whole tomatoes (San Marzano are preferred)

32 oz. chicken stock

1-15 oz. can of cannellini beans

1 onion, diced small

¾ oz. whipping cream

2 tbsp. EVOO

3 garlic cloves

1 Parmesan rind

A pinch of saffron

¼ tsp. chili pepper flakes

½ tsp. kosher salt

Ground pepper

basil for garnish


In a 5-qt. pan, sauté the onion in EVOO until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, chili flakes, and saffron threads to the onion and heat until fragrant (you don’t want to burn the garlic).

Squish the tomatoes with your hands until they’re fully broken down.

Add the tomatoes and stock to the onion mixture.

Pop in the Parmesan rind and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.


Add the cannellini beans, salt, pepper, and whipping cream. Stir well and taste. Add more seasoning if you like.


Cheese Panini

Grate some Gruyere cheese (amount is personal preference)

I used a seeded bread (sliced it at home) from Whole Foods

Toast the sandwich in a panini press (my method of choice), or on a frying pan with a weight on top of the sandwich

Toast the sandwich until the bread is crunchy and the cheese is fully melted (grating helps it melt faster)

Eat well!


“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” – John Diamon























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