This soup is way too easy. I should go back to the drawing board and give this a higher level of difficulty so that you will take it seriously. No really! This TUSCAN WHITE BEAN SOUP is very easy. However, it is also incredibly delicious. It has so much flavor and is very hearty although the ingredients are quite simple. It is an example of a very typical Tuscan soup with white beans…except for a couple of additions that make it just a little bit different.
This soup has the versatility of being a vegetarian soup by using vegetable broth and omitting the meat.
BUT – for those who are looking for that flavor zing that pork brings to any dish, adding the meat will definitely enhance your experience with this soup. You know that “pork thing” that just does “something” to you – that when looking at that piggy directly in the snout – that..that makes you sing of the “voodoo that you do so well”—I digress! Even with the awkward Cole Porter reference – you know what I’m talking about. Whoo hoo – the flavor! It’s ALL about the flavor. In this one, we get a double whammy with a little salt pork and prosciutto.
As if that wasn’t enough, I have had a touch of orange, in juice, and in a zest garnish, which bring a touch of citrus as well as to compliment the fennel which is a most successful companion to anything orange.
When it’s cold outside, you want heat, hearty, and happy. This soup does all three.
TUSCAN WHITE BEAN SOUP
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tbsp. Salt Pork – chopped small
1 Bulb Fennel – sliced
1 Medium Onion-chopped
2 cans (15 oz. approx.) Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained ( You can use dried beans – but you are going to puree them anyway.)
5 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tbsp. juice from a fresh orange
2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley
6 Campari Tomatoes – chopped coarsely (not small)
1/4 lb. Prosciutto – chopped
Chopped Fresh Chives and Zest of a fresh orange for garnish
Cook the salt pork for a couple of minutes in the Olive Oil and butter.
Add the fennel and onion – Cook 5 minutes more.
Add the beans and broth and stir.
Add the red pepper flakes, orange juice, and parsley.
Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, chop the tomatoes and the prosciutto.
Remove the soup from the heat and cool down.
Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor – puree the soup.
When finished, add the tomatoes and prosciutto to the soup, stir in, and cook 10 minutes more.
Serve hot, garnished with chopped chives and orange zest. (The garnish is not just for color. It adds additional great flavor to this soup!)
Easy enough? Just wait til you taste it!!
This TUSCAN WHITE BEAN SOUP will keep you warm when those temperatures dive!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography