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Food
Quick Tuscan White Bean Soup

This quickie variation uses canned beans and can be on the table in just 40 minutes.

6 ounces pancetta, one 1-inch-thick slice, cut into 1-inch curves

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over individual bowls
  • 1 small onion, chopped medium
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

    Cook the pancetta in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until just golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard pancetta and add the oil to the pot with the pancetta fat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 1/2 cups water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Submerge the rosemary in the liquid, cover the pot and let stand off the heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the rosemary and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and drizzle each bowl with olive oil. Serve immediately.

    Tip on canned beans: Our tasting panel found organic beans to be quite firm, chalky and underseasoned. Green Giant and Goya beans were the top choices because they were creamy (but not mushy) and well-seasoned.

    PG tested recipe from "Italian Classics" by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine

    Sunday, October 20, 2002

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