Monday, March 4, 2013

Easy Bean Soup

Bean Soup

Recipe by Bill Colsher

We had a delicious bean soup at the Enoteca Provincia Romana in Rome last month and decided to try to reproduce it here. You'll find dried Borlotti beans in 1 lb. bags labelled "Roman Beans" or sometimes "Cranberry Beans". You can substitute canned beans and the cooking time will be much shorter.

Yield: 4 Servings
  • 8 oz. Borlotti or other dry beans
  • 1 Bunch Broccoli Raab, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Large Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz. Pancetta, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 5 Cups Water
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 Thick slices good bread
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Cooking Directions

  1. Prepare the beans: Rinse and pick over the beans. If you are capable of planning in advance, soak the beans overnight in 5 cups of water, covered. Or, if you're like me, simply bring them to a boil in 5 cups water for two minutes, remove from heat, cover, and let them stand for an hour.
  2. If using pancetta, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil, then add the pancetta. Cook until it has rendered most of it's fat and begins to color. If you omit the pancetta heat 4 Tbs. olive oil.
  3. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until it softens.
  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it becomes aromatic.
  5. Add the broccoli raab and cook, stirring until it wilts.
  6. Add the beans and their water, plus another 2 cups water, stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered for about an hour, until the beans are soft. If the soup becomes too thick, add more boiling water.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Toast the slices of bread and cut them into bite size chunks.
  10. Place the toasted bread into serving bowls and ladle the soup over them.
  11. Top with a little grated parmigiano and a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.

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