Pancetta and Cannellini Soup

In my youth, my parents stocked their pantry with cans of Campbell’s® Soup for easy meals to feed their three sons. Campbell’s still dominates the grocery aisles of soups in most stores. I can’t think of an easier way to keep a family fed than with canned soup: convenient and satisfying. Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup topped my list of favorite comfort foods on a cold night when I was a kid. I’m curious about your favorites:

I now prefer homemade soups without MSG or high sodium to canned soup, but I still crave those comfort foods from my childhood. To alleviate my craving for Bean with Bacon Soup, I make Pancetta and Cannellini Soup these days. I prefer to use homemade stock when I make soup. For this recipe, I happened to have a rabbit stock in my freezer (flavor profile similar to chicken). Most people will probably use chicken stock for this recipe.


Pancetta and Cannellini Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 oz diced pancetta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tbsp celery leaves, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1 small Yukon Gold potato, diced
  • 1 15-oz can of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 cups, rabbit or chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot (enameled cast iron is ideal), bring pancetta to a medium heat and fry until until crisp. Remove pancetta from pot and drain on paper towels on a plate. Leave pancetta fat in the pot.
  2. Add olive oil and then onion through celery. Sauté vegetables until they begin to soften. Mix in celery leaves, thyme, oregano and pepper and stir for one minute.
  3. Stir in ingredients from potato through stock. Bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes (Halfway through, return pancetta to the pot).
  4. Test potatoes to make sure they are cooked. Stir in parsley and salt to your personal taste. Serve immediately.

A light to medium bodied red wine (such as a Pinot Noir, Côtes du Rhône, Syrah or Sangiovese) and a baguette of warm French bread with a saucer of salted and peppered extra virgin olive oil for dipping pairs well with this soup.

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