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Perfect and Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup
The secrets of this soup are:

  • brining the beans (soaking in a salt solution):
    Reduces cooking time, makes skin permeable but toughens structure of bean
  • cooking with as little salt as possible:
    Creates the best possible creamy interior texture for beans
  • simmering in a slow oven:
    Prevents beans from exploding/breaking up and muddying the soup

1/4 lb. pancetta (bacon won't do - needs to be cured, but not smoked), sliced about 1/4" thick then diced
1 lb. dry cannelini/Great Northern (white) beans
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped (garlic press OK)
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (OR 2 cups chicken broth, then use 1 extra of water)
3 cups water (or 4 cups if using regular salt)
1 bunch Kale, leaves pulled off of stems & roughly chopped

Sort beans, then soak 24 hours in 1 gallon of water mixed with 3 tablespoons of table salt.
Drain beans then rinse well with cold water.
Heat oven to 286 degrees F (259 degrees at sea level).
In an ovenproof pot for which you have an ovenproof lid,
render pancetta over medium heat until crunchy but not burnt.
Add onions and sizzle for five minutes until translucent but not browned in any way.
Add carrots & celery and sizzle for about four more minutes, but before any vegetables brown.
Add garlic & stir in; sizzle for a minute or two.
Add beans and 6 cups liquid, in one of the combinations above.
Bring to a light boil, then cover.
Remove from stove and place in oven, covered for about 45 minutes (at sea level, reduce time by 1/3)
Add kale, stir slightly to combine and return to oven until beans are fully cooked (keep tasting), about 30 more minutes
depending on lots of factors.
To taste, add salt if needed and fresh ground black pepper which is needed.
Serve with extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top.

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Dinner Menus by Samsunshine Levy


Fantastic NET Caesar Salad
Orange-Ginger Shrimp Ceviche
Salt Cod Brandade (Baccala/Bacalao)

Main Dishes
Chipotle Pork Posole Stew
Dover Sole (or Tilapia) "Meuniere"
Tenderloin Filet Au Poivre
Easy Summer Grilled Pizza
Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino con Gamberoni, Zest and Body!

Soup & Sides
Famous NET MAN Steamed Broccoli
Perfect & Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup
Bacon Mustard Brussel Sprouts
Creamy Polenta
Crunchy Vegetarian Quinoa Tabouli

Dark and Stormy cocktail
Homemade Santa Fe Hot Cocoa Mix now with the power of chipotle
Dark Rum Egg Nog

Apple Scone Cobbler
Nina's Birthday Cardamom Peach Cobbler
Italian Semifreddo Cassata
Rich & Dark Pecan Pie
Easy No-Bake Chocolate Pots de Creme
Moistest German Chocolate Cake
Christmas Morning Bacon Doughnuts
Paste di Meliga (Italian Cornmeal Cookies)
Even More Foolproof Vodka Pie Crust
Ginger Pecan Pie