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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tuscan Bean Soup



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Bob and I have been playing hot potato with some version of the flu for two weeks now. We're both finally on the mend and our appetites are starting to return. Our meals have been light for much of that time. I'm happy to report there's not a can of soup left in the pantry. That's a good thing. One more bowl of chicken soup would have me laying eggs and Bob crowing to wake the sun. We're still not ready for "real" meals but I wanted to make something more substantial than what we've been living on. I must also add that I didn't want to make a trip to the store and that limited me to what was in the pantry or freezer. I had an abundance of beans, plenty of frozen stock and a small amount of pancetta to play with. Fortunately, I also had an adequate supply of vegetables to help get me where I wanted to go. My destination was Tuscany. Bob volunteered to make bruschetta while I made a Tuscan bean soup we both love. This is really simple to do but timing is important. The beans and the soup pasta should be added to the stock about 15 minutes before the soup is to be served. If either sit in the stock too much longer than that, there'll be no liquid in the pot when you go to serve the soup. Once the vegetables are diced, the soup can be on the table with the hour. This soup is a personal favorite of mine. I think you'll like it too. I've scaled the recipe to feed smaller families, but if you have an army at your table you can double or triple the recipe without a problem. Do not, however, increase the measurement for lemon or cider vinegar. Here's how we do it.

Tuscan Bean Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-oz. diced panchetta
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
5 to 6 cups homemade or reduced-sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 cup acini pepe pasta, uncooked
2 (15.5-oz.) cans drained cannellini beans
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a 5 to 6 quart stockpot set over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add pancetta and saute for 3 minutes. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and sage and cook until garlic releases its fragrance. Add stock and bring to a boil. Stir in lemon juice or vinegar. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add pasta and beans and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir in cheese and parsley just before serving. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 5 servings.

41 comments :

Martha's Favorites said...

Ok, Woman, you are sick and you made this? This one looks hard even in good health. You are amazing! Blessings, Martha

Mary said...

Martha, this is really easy to do once the vegetables are diced. Thanks for the compliment :-).

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Lest you think I am addicted to your recipes-- well, I am! I have every single ingredient to make this. It's supposed to rain here! I'm a soupaholic, so Mary to the rescue...again! Dee-lish!

Helene said...

Oh my hope you are doing much better now. This is such a great soup you made. Perfect for when you are sick.

theUngourmet said...

Sorry to hear you and your husband haven't been feeling well. I know just what you mean about the chicken soup overdose. This looks like a wonderful change. One question. What are the little things in your soup that look kind of like barley?

Feel better soon! :)

Vicki said...

Hello, dear Mary,
I am sorry you and your husband have been ill. I am glad you are both on the mend! Thank you for sharing your soup recipe! I eat quite a lot of soup during the winter months. Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit at Bunny Cottage and for always brightening my day. Have a blessed Sunday! Vicki

Debinhawaii said...

Looks delicious--the restorative powers of soup. ;-) Hope you both are feeling much better

DailyChef said...

Sorry to hear that you are sick :(
Soup does wonders though, and this one looks fantastic. Feel better!

Katy ~ said...

I am glad to hear that you are recovering from your flus. It's everywhere and it's definitely not fun.

But boy, this soup looks as if it could cure the flu or make a bright day brighter.. Looks just full of goodness and flavor. Perfect.

Martha said...

Being sick is NO FUN!!!

But this soup should get you and Bob up and about!

I have to take a soup to a meeting Wednesday and this is the one I'm going to do -- it looks so simple and will taste great and no one else will make anything like it!

Donna-FFW said...

Mary-- My wishes for a speedy recovery.

This soup sounds wonderful. I have everything on hand.. may I sub bacon for the pancetta do you think?

La Table De Nana said...

Soups..home made are some of my favorite meals..The pancetta and sage are a great addition:)Get perfectly well soon..No fun at all..You made ma laugh about laying eggs:)

zurin said...

Ive never tried making a bean soup....looking at yours makes me want to...its looks so wholesome and really delicious! hope u both get well real soon.

Pom Pom said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm. Delicious! I'm glad you are on the mend. Thank you for your visit on Pink Saturday. I'm going to come back here! It's a beautiful place!

mary'smom said...

I hope all is well with your health! This soup looks amazing. I will be making it soon! It's going into my favorites right now.

maryt/theteach said...

That soup looks absolutely dee-lish! I'm a great fan of lentil soup... I'm back to my ol' self and doing well. Thanks for your wekk wishes at my blog! :)

George Gaston said...

Mary, I love the way you & Bob travel through your meal decisions ~ after all that is what cooking should be about, a journey with forgotten memories as a side. Or a new place with adventure!

This recipe is marvelous and sounds absolutely delicious. Many thanks and glad to hear that you both are feeling yourselves again.

Where are you heading next in your food travels?

Curious Lissa said...

This looks so creamy and delicious. I love beans and in the bean world cannellini beans are one of my favs!

A Year on the Grill said...

glad you are on the mend, and what a hardy soup... full of everything good!

noble pig said...

Mary you had be laughing so hard with your egg laying and crowing comment. Glad you are getting better but this soup surely helped. Beautiful.

Mary said...

Kim, that is the acini de pepe - a very small soup pasta.

Mary said...

Donna, can do, but the smoky taste of the bacon will give the soup a different taste. Not bad, just different.

Kim said...

Wow- this looks wonderful!Great and hearty soup that is comforting! Hope you feel better soon.

Mary said...

George, we're in the very first stages of planning this years trip. Lots of destinations are in the hopper, but no agreement as yet to where we'll be heading.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Mary, I just adore your blog!



HUGS!
Leigh
Tales from Bloggeritaville
www.lbratina.blogspot.com

GypsyNurse said...

Hello Mary!!
Thank you first off for your sweet comment..

And secondly..can I move in???
I think I need some good Ole
TLC and all those wonderful cookies and some warm soup on this dreary day!
xo
Cat

Karen said...

I love pasta in soups... this looks wonderful. Hope you're both feeling much better soon!

Ginger said...

That soup would make anybody feel better! It looks so warm and inviting. Hope that you guys feel better soon!

Gin

Rosie@Journey to Charm said...

Wow. This is my first visit to your blog. All these luscious recipes. I want to try all of them! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. Rosie

Toni said...

Looks delicious! Feel better soon!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

This will definitely give you your strength back. Hope you are feeling better!

Velva said...

The flu will definitely take it out of you. I am impressed that this soup was prepared while feeling under the weather. I think I would have just started laying eggs :-) This Tuscan bean soup is a wonderful warm the body and satisfy the soul kind of soup. Thanks for sharing.

I hope you and Bob are feeling much better.

Chef Aimee said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend! This soup must definitely be a good boost to feeling good! I love starting any Italian soup with a pancetta base!

Vanessa said...

Yuuuumm!!! I sure need to try this recipe. Love soups!

Di said...

Mary sorry to hear you and Bob have not been feeling well, but pleased you are on the mend. Soup, one of our favorite meals, and this looks like one to print for the kitchen. Thanks.

Claudia said...

Delicious! this is a definite recovery soup - filled with good things, and warming hearts and minds. Glad you are on the mend.

GWENDOLYN said...

This looks so warm and yummy! perfect for a winters day. I love your little blue pot with the yellow flowers too.
Blessings!
Gwen

L'Chicken said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, Mary. And I love that you and Bob cook together, so romantic!

Olga said...

Glad you are feeling better! The soup looks so hearty and comfy :)

Lynda said...

I hope that you both are well by now, Mary....This wonderful soup would bring healing to anyone, I imagine.

Becky said...

Mary, I have to tell you how I get completely into one of your recipes and have decided to try it when up pops what I might also like. Then I follow that trail. It goes on and on. Then I lose the thread of what I originally wanted. That has happened to me so many times. There are so many wonderful things to try here. We love bean soup; hopefully, I will find it again when it's cold outside.

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