HEARTY TUSCAN BEAN SOUP
This wonderful, hearty soup is perfect for a fall day. To make vegetarian, simply substitute the bacon with six ounces of shitake mushrooms.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 6oz/170g fresh bacon or pancetta, diced
- 2 onions, finely diced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2- 14oz/397g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 6 Tbsp parsley
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced into 1 inch squares for croutons
In a 5-6 quart pot, heat olive oil over medium; add the pancetta and cook until lightly browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside on a paper towel to drain.
Add the onions to the oil, season with salt and pepper and cook until they begin to soften. Add in the garlic and tomato, cook for 2 more minutes.
Add one cup of the stock to the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add the remaining stock, beans, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and herb stems. Add pancetta (leave some for garnishing) and parmesan. Cook 5 minutes, until soup starts to thicken slightly. Place lidded pot into the Wonderbag for 2 hours.
To make croutons: Toss ciabatta slices with olive oil and grill in a frying pan until brown.
To serve: Sprinkle with pancetta, olive oil drizzle, parsley, parmesan and croutons.