Bean And Broccoli Rabe Soup
This hearty soup was created one day when I had a craving for vegetable soup and a visit to my pantry revealed cannellini beans and broccoli rabe (cima di rape), two of my favorite vegetables.
by Deborah Mele
2 Cups Dried Cannelinni Beans, Soaked Overnight
1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe (Cima di Rape), Washed, Trimmed And Coarsely Chopped
1/2 Onion, Chopped
2 Carrots, Diced
2 Stalks Celery, Diced
2 Large Cloves Garlic, Minced
3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Pancetta
4 Plum tomatoes, Cored And Diced
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
4 Cups Of Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
4 Slices Country Style Bread, Cut Into 1 1/2 Inch Croutons
1 Clove Garlic, Finely Chopped
Salt & Pepper
1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Divided Into Two Parts
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Cook the beans covered in water in a pot for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain. In a large pot, heat half the oil and once hot add the pancetta. Once the pancetta has cooked a few minutes add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes until translucent, and then add the garlic. Cook for another minute or two, and then add the broth, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, beans and broccoli rabe. Cook for 30 minutes and taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
In a frying pan, add the remaining oil, garlic and croutons and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside.