Cranberry Bean Soup
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
Fresh cranberry beans (also known as shell beans or borlotti beans) are ivory and splotched with red dots, with a delicate, nutty taste. When they cook for an hour in the soup, they become delightfully soft and creamy.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped pancetta (3 ounces)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large celery ribs, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 6 cups water
- 3 cups fresh cranberry beans (from 2 1/2 pounds in the shell)
- 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- One 3-inch-wide rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 1/2 cup freshly grated cheese for serving
- 1/2 pound small-cut pasta, such as elbows
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until the fat has rendered, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, carrots and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the water, beans, tomatoes, bay leaf and cheese rind, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain.
- Discard the bay leaf and cheese rind from the soup. Season the soup with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Spoon the pasta into 6 bowls and ladle the soup on top. Serve with the grated cheese.
Make Ahead The cranberry bean soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.