Friday, October 16, 2009

Rustic Italian Soup

With the cold weather starting to stroll on in, hearty soups are where it's at. Of course you can make a bowl of chili and call it a night, but why not be different? Cannelini beans have been showing up everywhere, from soups to side dishes, so I saw this recipe over at Shutterbean and knew I had to make it, especially since Andy said he wanted me to make a soup for one of this week's meals.


3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery root, chopped
4 oz. pancetta, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
15 oz. canned whole peeled tomatoes
3 15 oz. canned cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1 sprig rosemary
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
grated parmesan
1 cup elbow macaroni

To make this recipe even simpler, I brought out the trusty crock pot. That way, I could just sit back while amazing-ness was-a-brewin' in the pot.

First, in a medium skillet, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil under medium to high heat. Saute onion, garlic, pancetta, carrots, and celery until translucent and soft, maybe about 5 minutes. Then dump that mixture in crock pot. My crock pot only has three settings, high, low, and warm. So I started it off at high so it could get going.

Then add the beans, tomatoes, rosemary, and chicken broth to the party. Mix everything well, cover, and let the flavors mingle for about an hour or so. The beans will start to break apart and thicken up the mixture.

After about an hour, throw in your kale. I had to do this in a couple batches because my crock pot wasn't big enough, but the kale shrinks once it hits the liquid so nothing a few stirs shouldn't fix. Stir in the bread crumbs.

Serve it hot in bowls and top with olive oil and parmesan cheese.

This was definitely easy and great, mainly because, besides the chopping of the vegetables, it's really a dump and go recipe. You dump the ingredients all together, wait, and you have a great hearty soup in the end! Enjoy!

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