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Monday, May 8, 2017

Pancetta White Bean Soup with Crostini




Crostini

  • 1 whole French baguette
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grey salt

To start the crostini, preheat the oven to 375° degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the baguette into 1/2" -inch slices and place the pieces onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Brush lightly with olive oil. Bake, oil side up, for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
While the bread is cooking, peel the garlic and set aside. Once the bread is ready, lightly rub the oiled side with the raw garlic and while the bread is still warm, sprinkle with a little grey salt.

Soup

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 slices pancetta (or prosciutto, bacon or ham)
  • 2 - 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (depends on saltiness of pancetta)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 - 19 oz cans cannellini or white beans
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce (optional)

To start the soup, first mince the garlic. Slice the pancetta into small strips. Dice the tomatoes and reserve the juice.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the pancetta for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to turn golden, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato juice and chicken stock. Then add the rosemary, Parmesan rind, salt and pepper and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the beans and bring just back to a simmer to heat the beans through.
Just before serving the soup, check and adjust the seasoning. Shred the lettuce. Place a small handful of lettuce in the bottom of a bowl and ladle the soup over top. Serve immediately with the garlic crostini.

Note: Save those leftover Parmesan rinds! Store them in a freezer bag and toss them into soups for added flavor.
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