Bacon, Tomato and White Bean Soup
Bubbly hot tomato bean soup sprinkled with Pecorino-Romano is just the ticket for cool fall evenings.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 pound smoky bacon, chopped
- 2 red or white onions, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (28-32 ounces)
- 2 cups tomato puree or passata
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans (15 ounces), drained
- Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for sprinkling
- Charred bread, such as ciabatta (rubbed with garlic, drizzled with with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper), for mopping
In a medium size Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat.
Add the onions, garlic, chili pepper, bay leaves, thyme, a little salt and lots of pepper. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree and chicken stock, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Stir in the beans and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Serve the soup in shallow bowls. Top with the cooked bacon, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve with the bread for mopping.