This hearty Tuscan white bean soup is full of rich Italian flavors and is a great companion on a cold winter night. This dish can be served on its own as a meal or as a soup course.
If you’re looking for something to go with this soup try making your own sourdough bread.
- 1 lb dried white beans
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 3 ounces pancetta
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 large carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1/2 bulb fennel
- 4 cloves garlic
- 68 ounces chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups spinach
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Wash and sort the beans, picking out any off looking ones. Place in a large pot, cover with 48 ounces of water, bring to a boil for two minutes, remove from heat and let them sit for an hour. Drain the water and set the beans aside.
- Meanwhile, dice the pancetta into small chunks, set aside. Chop the onion, celery, and fennel up into small bite sized pieces. Mince the garlic. Cut the carrots into large bite sized pieces, roughly chop the spinach, setting both aside for later.
- Start cooking the soup by adding the pancetta to a large heavy duty pot. Start the heat on low and let some of the fat render out. As the fat starts to render out add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and sauté the onions, fennel, celery, and garlic for a few minutes until the onions start turning translucent.
- Add the sausage to the pot to brown. (The main thing with the sausage is to use a good flavorful Italian sausage, whether it’s ground, in a casing, sweet, or hot). Once the sausage is browned add the beans back into the pot, along with the stock, salt, and pepper. Bring everything to a boil.
- Once the soup has been brought to a boil, turn it down to a low simmer and add the carrots. After an hour add the spinach Let the soup simmer for another half-hour to bring the flavors together and to get the beans to just the right tenderness.