Chunky White Bean Soup with Pan-Fried Salami
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN plus overnight soaking
- SERVINGS: 8
This Italian white bean soup is a hearty mix of cannellini beans, garlic, kale and carrots. What makes it spectacular is salty little bits of salami, which get quickly pan-fried until crisp, then stirred into the soup before serving.
- 1 pound dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water and drained
- 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
- 6 garlic cloves, 3 smashed, 3 thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound spicy salami, such as Calabrese, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 3/4 pound kale, stems discarded, leaves finely chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a large saucepan, combine the beans with 1 tablespoon of the herbes de Provence and the smashed garlic cloves. Add water to cover by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the beans begin to soften, about 25 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and continue simmering until the beans are tender, 20 minutes longer. Drain the beans.
- Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole or soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the salami and cook over high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salami to a plate. Add the onion, carrots, celery and the 3 sliced garlic cloves and the remaining 1 tablespoon of herbes de Provence. Season with salt and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, then cover and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and chicken stock to the vegetables. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and pulse just until the beans are coarsely chopped; return the soup to the casserole. Add the kale and simmer until it is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved salami and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the parsley and serve.
Despite the scorching heat in Tuscany during 2003, many of its wines from that vintage are both full of fruit and firmly structured, an ideal combination for this robust soup.