Tuscan Bean Soup

This is the perfect hearty soup for a cold & dreary afternoon. I'm not totally sure what makes this soup "Tuscan," but when I tasted it, it reminded me of the kind of thing they would serve at Olive Garden. It was really good, but it should definitely be served with a savory bread of some sort. Perhaps breadsticks or toasted slices of Pesto Bread.

1 leek, white & light green parts only, sliced lengthwise & chopped
1/2 onion, chopped or sliced
1 carrot, chopped into chunky bits
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1/4 c olive oil
4 c beef or vegetable broth
4 c water
2 c prepared beans (any kind you like)
1 can tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz can)
1 T balsamic vinegar
  1. Saute leek, onion, carrot, & celery in olive oil until tender (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add garlic & stir just until garlic is fragrant
  3. Add broth & water, cover, & boil lightly until reduced by half (about 30 minutes)
  4. Stir in tomatoes & beans, simmering until warmed through.
  5. Stir in vinegar & serve immediately.