Friday, March 14, 2014

Creamy Parmesan White Bean Soup

I recently pinned a recipe for creamy parmesan white bean stew with spicy greens from the blog How Sweet It Is.  This recipe and several others would become the inspiration for the creamy parmesan white bean soup I made tonight.  

I was amazed at how perfect it was.  Sometimes you hit a home run on your first attempt at creating or making a new recipe, and this was one of those times.  

My inspiration recipe contained bacon, but I decided to use a package of Boar's Head Pancetta that I purchased from Publix.  

This was my first time using a parmesan cheese rind in a soup.  I cut off the rind for cooking in the soup, and grated the rest of the Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish.  I purchased this small piece of parmesan at The Fresh Market.  

My inspiration recipe called for anchovies and smoked paprika, which I had no interest in putting in my soup, so I decided to add some sprigs of rosemary after reading a recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup from Emeril Lagasse.  

My whole family loved the soup, and it now might top my list of favorite soups.  It's at least tied with my Creamy Corn & Potato Soup with Cotija Cheese.  It was amazingly delicious!

Creamy Parmesan White Bean Soup


1 T + 1 tsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion -- diced
4 oz pancetta -- cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp minced garlic
4 C gluten free chicken broth/stock
4 cans white beans -- rinsed
1 parmesan cheese rind
2 sprigs of rosemary
5 oz baby spinach -- roughly chopped
Grated parmesan for serving


Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat it over medium high heat.  Add the onion and pancetta, stirring well until the onion has softened and beings to brown.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic.  Stir well for about 2 minutes until the garlic begins to brown, then add the chicken stock, white beans, parmesan cheese rind, and rosemary sprigs.

Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  At the end of this time, remove the rosemary and parmesan rind.  Using a potato masher, smash the beans a bit to thicken the soup.  Add the spinach, and cook for another 5 minutes.  Serve with grated parmesan.

Serves 4

Recipe Notes

I buy The Fresh Market brand chicken stock for this recipe.  It is labeled gluten free.

I used two 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans and two cans of Great Northern beans.  You can use either variety of white beans in this recipe.

Other Recipes You Might Like

Creamy Corn & Potato Soup with Cotija Cheese -- The garnish of bacon, cotija cheese, fresh basil, and fresh corn takes this soup from good to incredible!

White Chicken Chili  -- This is definitely one of our top 10 favorite dinners.  The recipe makes enough for at least 4 meals for us, it freezes well, and everyone loves it!

Linked to: Gluten-Free Wednesdays 


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