Gourmet Soups, Stews, & Bisques
This classic soup from Tuscany is full of beans, tomatoes, and greens, all cooked in a savory broth with plenty of garlic. It's thickened with chunks of Italian bread and served drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan.
1/2 pound dried white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini, picked over
4 ounces pancetta, cut in large dice (or diced thick-sliced bacon)
2 medium onions, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
Salt and ground black pepper
1 large can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, chopped
4 cups shredded savoy cabbage
4 cups baby spinach
2 1/4 ounces Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 6 cups water
4 cups Italian bread cubes (crusts removed)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Olive oil for garnish
The day before you want to make the soup, place the beans in a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Soak them overnight.
Drain the beans and place them in a large pot, add 2 quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about an hour, until the beans are tender. Set the beans aside, leaving them to cool in their cooking liquid.
While the beans are cooking, sauté the pancetta in a large soup pot over medium heat. When the fat has rendered a bit, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 7-8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes, cabbage, and spinach and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid. Add the beans to the soup pot along with 2 cups of their cooking liquid and the reconstituted Glace de Poulet Gold®, stirring to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the bread cubes and basil to the soup and simmer for 10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the soup in warm bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil.