I love a recipe that is delicious, easy, smells great, and is forgiving when you trade ingredients out for those you have on hand. Plus I love making (and eating) soup.
This comes from Simply Recipes. I had most everything already in the fridge and pantry but I did swap out a few ingredients--I didn't have parsley but I had an abundance of rosemary and it tasted great. I didn't have cabbage but I had plenty of swiss chard (spinach would also work) and that turned out great, too. I used canned cannellini beans and pancetta (bacon would also work).
1 - 1 1/2 cups dried Cannellini or Great Northern Beans
2 ounces salt pork or pancetta
10 to 12 cups beef or chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 head savoy or curly cabbage, sliced
1 potato, diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups chopped Italian styled peeled plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
1 Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain beans, rinse, and place them in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add salt pork or pancetta and 6 cups of broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently for about 1 hour.
2 Heat oil in a separate large stockpot. Add chopped vegetables (onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley) and sauté gently 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add remaining vegetables and tomatoes. Add remaining 5 cups broth. Simmer for 40 to 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3 Remove salt pork or pancetta from beans. Dice finely. Transfer half of the beans to a food processor or a blender and blend into a paste. Add mashed beans to the vegetables. Add remaining whole beans, broth, and diced pork to vegetables.
4 Simmer 5 minutes longer. Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.