White Bean Soup and Red Pepper Bites
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 cup pancetta, chopped.
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped and peeled
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 15oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained
5 cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
1 cup jarred roasted bell peppers
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh leaf parsley
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. honey
- In a 3 1/2 quart Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add cannellini beans, chicken broth, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the cheese and season with salt. Keep soup warm.
- Meanwhile, in the blending cup of the immersion blender, chop the roasted red peppers. Stir in 1/2 tsp. salt, the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, parsley, vinegar, red pepper flakes, honey, and black pepper. Top Croccantini with roasted bell pepper tapenade, and serve as a side with soup immediately.