Italian Bean Soup

Italian Bean Soup

A robust and hearty soup packed with goodness

Shopping list at a glance: canned or dried cannellini beans, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, bacon (or dried mushrooms,) parsley, tomatoes, broth, kale,  parsley, parmesan

From your pantry at a glance: salt, pepper, olive oil

Italian Bean Soup
Prep Time: 15m, Cook Time: 8 hrs LOW / 4 hrs HIGH, Servings: 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 cups / 4 medium celery stalks, sliced
  3. 1 ½ cups / 2 large carrots, diced
  4. 2 cups/1 large red onion, diced
  5. 2 tsp garlic / 4 cloves, crushed
  6. 4 oz pancetta or 4 thick slices bacon, cut into cubes*
  7. 1 x 14/5 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained or 4 oz dried cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  8. 1×14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  9. 4 cups vegetable broth
  10. 1 cup water
  11. Marinara Blend
  12. 1/2 tsp salt
  13. half bunch kale or your favorite green, torn
  14. fresh parmesan
Instructions
  1. heat half the oil on medium in a skillet and add the pancetta / bacon until is begins to brown and the fat is rendered 2-3 minutes
  2. transfer to the slow cooker and discard the fat.
  3. In the same skillet add the remaining oil, celery, carrot, onion, and garlic
  4. soften for 3 minutes and put into the slow cooker
  5. add beans, tomatoes, broth, water, Marinara Blend, salt
  6. stir, cover and cook for 8 hours on LOW / 4 hours on HIGH
  7. lift the lid and stir in the kale, replace the lid for 10 minutes to allow the greens to wilt
  8. top with a generous serving of parmesan and serve with crusty, fresh bead
Notes
  1. * use 1 oz / 1/2 cup dried mushrooms (shiitake, porcini) as vegetarian alternative to bacon
  2. cut off the parmesan rind and drop into the soup while it cooks to add flavor
the zen of slow cooking http://www.blog.thezenofslowcooking.com/