Friday, February 7, 2014

Bean Soup for a Chilly Day

adapted from JAN 2014 BonAppetit

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, cored, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for serving
3 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 cup spelt (I only had spelt flour to use)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 head escarole, leaves torn into bite size pieces
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
Shaved Parmesan (for serving)

Prepped items and home cooked Northern beans

Pulse onion in a food processor until finely chopped.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Repeat with fennel, carrot, and celery, placing vegetables in bowl with onion.

On medium setting, heat 2 tbsps. oil in a large pot.  Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 3-6 minutes.

This is "Spelt flour" just in case you wondered :)

Turn heat down to medium-low.  Add spelt flour and cook, stirring often until spelt is browned, about 3 minutes.

 Add the onion, fennel, carrot, celery, and garlic to pot;  season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally with a flat whisk.  Stir until vegetables are softened, 6-8 minutes.  Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and cook until paste is slightly darkened, about 1 minute.

Add broth to pot.  With the flat whisk, scrape bottom of pot and stir until soup is a consistent mixture.  Bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 60-70 minutes.

Stir in the beans and . . .

. . .  the escarole.  Cook until the escarole is wilted and beans are warmed through, about 4 minutes.

Serve soup drizzled with oil and topped with Parmesan cheese shavings.

I knew this soup wouldn't be enough for my hubby, so I added a grilled cheese sandwich.  He was too full to have seconds. 

Enjoy your weekend, stay safe, be thankful and remember to savor every moment.


  1. Looks great..must step on the spelt bandwagon:)

    1. I didn't know there was a spelt bandwagon but I have heard of it twice for the first time within the past two weeks. I had a heck of a time finding it here in central VA but it was in one of the two groceries stores up in Manistee, MI. Another reason for us to move up there! :)


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