Some of the best, most comforting dishes are made of just a few main ingredients, like mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and chicken noodle soup. But simple dishes leave plenty of room for experimentation, and often a twist on the classic can result in a new favourite.
Enter Giada de Laurentiis' Italian White Bean, Pancetta, and Tortellini Soup. It's simple, but the flavour is incredible and oh-so-soothing. The only downside? I feel like an idiot for not thinking of this myself. It really is so basic but so elegant. Keep reading for the recipe.
This recipe is adapted from Giada de Laurentiis' Everyday Pasta.
Italian White Bean, Pancetta, and Tortellini Soup
4 main course servings, 6 appetizer servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, diced (a smaller amount is ok, too - whatever size you can find in the deli section is great)
1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (15-oz) can white navy beans beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 cups baby spinach leaves
6 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
Anywhere from 9 to 12 oz. tortellini, meat, cheese, fresh or frozen
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano, to taste
1. In a large, heavy soup pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, onion, carrot, and garlic and cook until the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, baby spinach, and broth.
2. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the tortellini and cook 5 minutes for fresh, 8 minutes for frozen, or until just tender. Season with pepper and serve with a healthy sprinkling of the cheese of your choice.