Hearty Tuscan Bean Soup

SOUP


This wonderful, hearty soup is perfect for a fall day. To make vegetarian, simply substitute the bacon with six ounces of shitake mushrooms.


INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra

for serving

6 oz fresh bacon or pancetta,

diced

2 onions, finely diced

Salt and pepper

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, diced

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 - 14 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 sprig of thyme

6 Tbsp of parsley

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced into 1-inch squares for croutons


DIRECTIONS

In a 5-6 quart pot, heat olive oil over medium; add the pancetta and cook until lightly browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside on a paper towel to drain.


Add the onions to the oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook until they begin to soften. Add in the garlic and tomato, cook for 2 more minutes. Add one cup of the stock to the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add the remaining stock, beans, bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme.


Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and herb stems. Add pancetta (leave some for garnishing) and parmesan.


Cook 5 minutes, until soup starts to thicken slightly. Place the lidded pot into the Wonderbag for 2 hours.


To make croutons: Toss ciabatta slices with olive oil and grill in a frying pan until brown.


To serve: Sprinkle with pancetta, olive oil drizzle, parsley, parmesan, and croutons.