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Bean Soup From Tuscany

2 c Dried cannellini beans
2 ea Red onions
10 ea Sprigs fresh parsley leaves
1 ea Large celery stalk
2 ea Cloves garlic, peeled
1 tb Fresh basil
1 ts Fresh rosemary leaves
Coarse grained salt
3 ea Fresh tomatoes OR 3 drained canned imported Italian tomatoes
1 oz Boiled ham
1 oz Salt pork
1/4 c Plus 8 ts olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 ts Dried thyme OR 1/2 ts tarragon
1 sm Savoy cabbage, 2 lbs
8 ea Slices coarse Italian bread

Soak tghe beans overnight in cold water; rinse and drain. Coarsely chop one onion, parsley, celery, garlic, basil and rosemary. Place in stockpot. Add beans, coarse-grain salt to taste and 5 quarts of cold water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining onion, chop up the tomatoes in a food processor and cut the ham and salt pork into small pieces. Heat 1/4 c of the oil and lightly saute the onion, ham and salt pork for about 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes. Taste for salt and pepper and add the thyme or tarragon. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then set aside. Clean and wash the cabbage. Cut into 1/2-inch strips. When the beans have finished cooking, remove about half the beans and vegetables with a slotted spoon and puree in a food processor. Return the puree to the stockpot and add enough cold water to make about 4 quarts liquid and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and simmer about 25 minutes, then add tomatoes and meat to the stockpot and simmer 5 minutes longer. Toast the slices of bread and place in each individual soup bowl. Ladle the soup over the bread and serve, adding a ts of olive oil to each serving. NOTE: Dried herbs may be substituted for fresh using 1/3 to 1/2 ts dried for each tb fresh, or to taste.

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