Tuscan Bean Soup

Recipe: Tuscan Bean Soup


  • Table salt
  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced into ¼” cubes
  • 1 large onion, medium chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch kale, stems trimmed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper


In a large bowl with cold water dissolve 3 tablespoons of table salt in 4 quarts of cold water. Stir until dissolved and add the beans. Soak the beans for at least 8 hours but up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and adjust the rack to the lower middle position. In a large Dutch oven heat the olive oil and the diced pancetta over medium heat until the pancetta is crisp and all the fat has rendered. The pancetta will take about 8 minutes to crisp. Leaving the pancetta in the pan add the carrots, celery and the onions and sauté for 12 to 14 minutes until they are softened and slightly browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minutes until fragrant and then add the broth, water and add the bay leaves. Give the pot a good stir. Remove the soaked beans from the salt water and rinse them in a colander for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rinsed drained beans to the pot and increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Stir the pot again once simmering and put the lid on the Dutch oven and place in the 250 degree oven for 50 minutes to an hour.

After about 1 hour remove the pot from the oven and add the chopped kale and drained diced tomatoes. The beans will still be slightly undercooked so give the pot a gently stir put the lid back on and back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

After the additional 30 minutes remove the pot from the oven and submerge the rosemary spring to pot and cover. Let the pot sit on the stovetop with no heat to absorb the rosemary flavor.

After 15 minutes remove and discard the rosemary sprig and the bay leaves. Taste the soup for seasons and season if necessary with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil

Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen   http://www.americastestkitchen.com/

Quick Notes

Do not season the soup with salt until the end. You will be tempted but if you do so the beans will not be creamy. Salting while being cooked and before the beans are completely cooked results in mealy beans. Yuck!


Culinary tradition: Italian

Copyright © Andicakes 2010.
Recipe by yumm yumm yumm.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

One comment to “Tuscan Bean Soup”
One comment to “Tuscan Bean Soup”
  1. Thanks for the tips and detailed directions. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Fresh grated parm on top when served, crusty warm bread on the side, yum.

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