Friday, January 4, 2013


It is cold out, so I opt for a soup tonight.  Other than the chopping (which was minimal), this dish was a breeze! I know I have said it before in the blog, but when a recipe calls for a small bit of tomato paste, I use a 1 tablespoon scoop to portion out the rest of the can on to a plate and freeze.  Then I pop those frozen portions off and put them in a plastic bag.  Easy and give you a simple way to store all that extra paste.  I wasn't expecting the dish to be anything less than good, but I was also not expecting an OMG moment.  It was an OMG dish!  I used a baguette instead of chibatta because I didn't read the recipe well before my trip to the store, (blush) but I it is a mistake I will make again.  The  whole dish was wonderful, but I think that bread was what took it from good to great.  If you make this, I would suggest you do what I did, use 4 cups of stock.  I think that if I hadn't used that last cup in the carton (just to clean up) the dish wouldn't have had enough liquid.  As it was, I think it could have used a tad more. 


1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil,plus some for drizzling on bread
1    onion,chopped
1    carrot,chopped
4    ounces pancetta,chopped
2 ea garlic,1 minced and 1 whole
1 t  salt
1 t  freshly ground black pepper
1 T  tomato paste
1    (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 lb frozen spinach,thawed and squeezed dry
1    (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans,drained
1 T  herbs de Provence
3 c  chicken stock
1    bay leaf
1    (3-inch) piece Parmesan rind
4    to 6 ciabatta rolls,halved lengthwise or 1 loaf, sliced
Grated Parmesan,for serving

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion,
carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion
is golden brown and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes. Add tomato
paste and stir until dissolved. Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the
bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits.
Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind.
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Drizzle the ciabatta halves with olive oil. Toast until golden brown,
about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the top of the toasts
with the whole garlic clove. Place the toasts in the serving bowls and
ladle the soup over the toasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve

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