- 1 1/4 cups dried white beans (8 ounces), soaked overnight and drained
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 2 large celery ribs, finely diced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- One 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- In a pot, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 2 hours; add water to keep the beans covered. Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, in another pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until crisp, 4 minutes. Add the shallots, celery, onion, carrot and fennel, and cook until softened. Add the garlic, crushed pepper and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Add the beans and enough cooking liquid to thin out the soup. Discard the bay leaves; season with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, toss the arugula and parsley with the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup in bowls; top with the salad.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.