This recipe was given to me by Gwen Rehnborg; I add more stock (my kids like the broth) and more greens. The original recipe calls for spinach, but I tried Chard this time and it was great. Also, I’ve tried both bacon and pancetta – both good – if you find a smoked variety that gives it an extra layer of flavor. And save those parmesan rinds in your fridge – they are a great addition to most soups and stews.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 oz. chopped bacon or pancetta
1 small finely chopped yellow onion
2 finely chopped carrots
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp. of dried oregano
1 tablespoons of tomato Paste
4 – 6 cups of Chicken stock
2 cans of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
2 – 3 inches of parmesan rind*
2 – 4 cups chopped baby spinach or Swiss Chard (large stems removed)
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
salt and pepper
Warm oil and add pancetta, cooking until it browns slightly. If there is more than 2 tablespoons of fat, spoon it out. Add onions and carrots and sauté until they are soft. Add garlic, oregano and sauté until fragrant, 1 – 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, mixing well. Add the stock and the beans. Raise heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted and the flavors have blended, around 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chopped parsley.