Nothing says Fall more than soup! This bean soup is one of my fav’s! Make it one day ahead and serve it the next. The pancetta in this recipe makes this soup so decadent.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1 ½ cups yellow onions, diced
1 cup leeks, sliced and washed
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Kosher salt and pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 ½ quarts unsalted chicken stock (Kitchen Basics is my favorite)
2 bay leaves
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
3 (14.5 oz.) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped Lacinato or Tuscan kale
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil to medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook until lightly browned and crispy, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside.
Add the onions, leeks, carrots and celery to the pan without draining the oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme sprigs and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the chicken stock to the pan and stir up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add the bay leaves, parmesan rind, and cannellini beans. Bring to a light boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaves and parmesan rind. Scoop out about 3 cups of the soup with beans and broth and puree in a separate bowl until smooth. Add the kale and cook for 1 minute. Add the puree back to the pan and mix well. Add ½ of the pancetta to the soup and mix in. Season with kosher salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle the other half of the pancetta pieces over each bowl and serve with toast points and shaved parmesan cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil over each bowl before serving.