Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Florentine White Bean Soup

So, we have been back to our school routine for over a week now, and I realize now I was deluding myself when I thought my life would be easier once school started. One or both kids have something going on each night of the week, so I haven’t exactly been relaxing. I have managed to have a home-cooked meal on the table for the last couple of nights. Not a major feat, I know, but still comforting, and with any luck, I can keep it up!

Tonight I made these paninis with Florentine White Bean Soup. I have been trying to use up some of the food in my pantry, and I had a couple of cans of cannellini beans, so I knew I wanted to make a white bean soup. I have seen a few different recipes in magazines and on the web, but I chose this recipe from my William-Sonoma cookbook Food Made Fast: Soup cookbook. I was tempted by the 30-minutes from start to finish the recipe promised. The recipe lived up to its promise. The soup took me almost exactly 30 minutes.

I enjoyed the flavors of the soup, but what I enjoyed most was the smell. The only way I can describe the smell is to tell you it smells like my favorite Italian restaurant where you walk through the kitchen to get to your seat. My daughter and husband loved this soup. My son who usually loves soup didn’t even try it. The little bugger! At least he ate his sandwich.

Florentine White Bean Soup
Adapted from Food Made Fast: Soup from Williams-Sonoma

2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 oz pancetta chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ Tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken broth
2 cans cannellini beans
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large saucepan heat the oil and add the pancetta. Cook the pancetta until lightly browned about 5 minutes. Then add the onion and carrot and cook until soften about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the oregano and cook until fragrant about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste mixing well, and add the broth and beans. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and add the spinach. Cook the soup until the spinach is wilted about 10 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

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