A hearty and nutritious soup for lunch or dinner. Feel free to add additional vegetables to taste. This soup is best when made a day or two before serving to allow the flavors to develop. Add water as needed if the broth becomes too thick. Serves 4-6 as an entrée, serve with toasted crusty bread.
- 1 lb. Zursun dried Cannellini beans or other white beans (navy, Great Northern, etc.)
- 1organicred onion
- 1 organic fennel bulb
- ½ lb. organc Chard or other bitter green (collard, beet greens, kale, etc.)
- 5 organic garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons LHF California extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ lb. sliced Christiansen Family Farm's Berkshire house-cured smoked belly bacon.
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (for garnish) + 1 large rind from the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 cups More than Gourmet chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- Diamond Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper
Rinse the beans and remove by hand any stray pebbles. Soak overnight (8+ hours) at room temperature or quick cook (boil for 3 minutes, remove from heat, and let rest, covered for 2 hours.)
Chop the onion.
Remove the fennel stalk, discard. Chop the bulb.
Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
Remove any tough stems and ribs from the chard. Cut into bite sized pieces.
Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, reserving the rind.
Coarsely chop the bacon/pancetta.
Drain the beans and rinse well.
In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, sauté the pancetta/bacon in the extra virgin olive oil over moderate heat until browned, about 4-6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a towel to drain.
In the same pot, sauté the onion and fennel until softened, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic, and cook for 1 more minute. Add in the beans, chicken stock, water, cheese rind, and bay leaf, and simmer over medium-low heat for 50 minutes - 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. Cook as long as need to ensure the beans are soft – add more water as needed.
Remove the bay leaf and cheese rind. Add the chopped greens. Simmer for 8-12 minutes until the greens are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Either serve immediately garnished with the chopped bacon and cheese, or reserve the garnishes and store chilled in the fridge for several days.