Originally a Barefoot Contessa recipe, I tweaked it a bit and the whole family happily ate it up. Like so many veggie-heavy soups, this felt like “health in a bowl” but didn’t necessarily taste like it. It is hearty, but not overly thick. It tastes so well balanced, not single flavored, so you want to eat a second bowl. The fennel lends some sweetness, the cheese imparts that umami flavor and the rosemary it just enough to not be overpowering. I don’t see why it wouldn’t freeze excellently. Rich went for his second bowl and asked “if this was a website soup”. It is now! A definite make again.
Pancetta, White Bean and Rosemary Soup
1/4 c. olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, diced to 1/4 inch*
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 leeks, diced, white and green part only (2 c.)
1 bulb fennel, diced
2 c. diced carrots
2 c. diced celery
2 c. diced onion
2 (15 oz) cans white beans
8 c. chicken or vegetable broth or stock
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. black pepper
Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated, to top
*One of my favorite Trader Joes buys is a 4 oz. container of 1/4 inch diced pancetta. I buy four or five and freeze them.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pot. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
- Add anchovy paste, garlic and rosemary and stir until fragrant.
- Add leeks, fennel, carrots, celery and onion. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, open beans and strain 1 c. of the bean liquid into blender. Add 1 c. of the beans. Blend to smooth.
- Add to pot along with the remaining beans. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to boil.
- Reduce to simmer and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Taste for salt, remove bay leaves, serve topped with cheese.