Tuscan White Bean Soup



1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


4 ounces pancetta diced


1 large onion diced


4 ribs celery diced


3 medium carrots diced


1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


1 pound dried cannellini beans soaked overnight, or 3 16-ounce cans


6 cups low sodium chicken stock plus more for thinning


1 head garlic roasted


3 sprigs rosemary


1 small Parmigiano Reggiano rind optional


1 large bay leaf


salt and pepper to taste




For the roasted garlic


Preheat oven to 400f. Cut off the top 1/4-inch of the garlic, exposing the top of the cloves. Place the head cut side up on a sheet of foil and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Wrap tightly with the foil and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden and soft.


For the soup


In a large heavy pot saute the pancetta in olive oil over medium-low heat until most of the fat renders (about 10 minutes). Next, add in the celery, onion, and carrots and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes or until the veggies are softened.


Add in the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the roasted garlic cloves, chicken stock, Parmigiano rind, bay leaf, rosemary, and beans. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.


Mash the beans with a wooden spoon against the side of the pot to help thicken the soup. For a thicker soup use an immersion or regular blender.


Taste test the soup and adjust salt and pepper levels to taste. Remove the Parmigiano rind, rosemary stem, and bay leaf before serving. If the soup is too thick, thin with a bit more stock or water.


Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, grated parmesan, and crusty bread on the side. Enjoy!




Greens like escarole, spinach, or kale can be added to brighten up the soup.


The roasted garlic can be prepped in advance and saved in the fridge for up to 1 week.


For a vegetarian dish use vegetable stock and omit the pancetta, chicken stock, and Parmigiano rind.


Make sure to serve with plenty of crusty bread, grated cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and hot red pepper flakes.


Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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