Creamy White Bean Soup With Crispy Pancetta
I have been making this soup forever! It is my attempt at recreating a white bean soup that I had in Italy a very long time ago. Nothing compares to that magical bowl of soup from the tiny family-owned restaurant in Florence, but my creamy white bean soup with crispy pancetta will have to do until we can travel again!
- 3 oz pancetta, sliced
- olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sprig rosemary, optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 15.5-oz cans white beans
- 1 parmesan rind (optional)
- 5 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan and fresh parsley for serving
Cook the pancetta in a large pot over medium heat until crispy, remove half of it and set aside.
Turn the heat up to medium-high, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, open the beans and pour about 1/4 cup of the liquid out and reserve it for the soup then drain and rinse the beans.
Add the garlic and thyme (and rosemary if using) to the pot and cook about 1 minute.
Pour the wine and reserved liquid form the beans in the pot to deglaze, scrapping up all the bits from the bottom and cook for 1 minute until the liquid cooks down.
Add the beans, bay leaf, parmesan rind and chicken stock. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Carefully ladle the soup (in two batches if needed) into a blender and blend until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot, add more stock if the soup is too thick, taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Warm the soup back up over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Serve the soup with lots of parmesan, fresh parsley if you want a little brightness and the crispy pancetta and enjoy!