By Karin Calloway
Tuscan Bean Soup
Making hearty bean soups used to require hours in front of the stove. You’d simmer chicken bones for broth and cook dried beans for hours – all before you even began preparing the actual soup. With the help of canned products, soup gets a whole lot easier but doesn’t have to lose its homemade flavor.
My Tuscan Bean Soup starts by sautéing some diced pancetta, a cured Italian bacon that is now available from most supermarket delis. Onion, carrot and garlic are added as a savory flavor base and fresh sage gives the soup an earthy kick. Canned reduced-sodium chicken broth and cannellini beans are the trick to this soup’s ease of preparation.
A chiffonade of greens is a classic Italian addition. Escarole, kale, spinach or romaine lettuce all can be used, depending on what is available at your supermarket. The greens are added at the end of cooking and are stirred until wilted. This luscious bean soup can be prepared from start to finish in less than 45 minutes, but the final dish tastes like you slaved over the stove all day
Makes 8 servings