Tuscan Peasant Soup with Rosemary & Pancetta

Tuscan Peasant Soup with Rosemary & Pancetta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 3½ quarts
  • 5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1¼ cups small diced pancetta (about 6 oz. or 6 thick slices)
  • 4 cups large diced Savoy cabbage (about ½ small head)
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 4 diced carrot
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt; more as needed
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 - 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 7 cups homemade or low-salt purchased chicken broth
  • 2 - 15-1/2-oz. cans small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish
  • The reserved pancetta
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted (Omit this if you are exercising willpower)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (Omit this if you are exercising willpower)
  1. Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 4- to 5-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, golden brown, and crisp (the oil will also be golden brown), about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and with a slotted spoon transfer the pancetta to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  2. Return the pot to medium high heat and add the chopped cabbage. Cook the cabbage, stirring occasionally, until limp and browned around the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the cabbage to a plate or bowl.
  3. Put the pot back over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons more of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and the vegetables are browned around the edges and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the last 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, the fresh rosemary, and the ground coriander and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, stir together, and cook the mixture 2 to 3 more minutes.
  4. Return the cabbage to the pan and add the chicken broth. Stir well, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes to infuse the broth with the flavor of the vegetables. Add the beans, bring back to a simmer, and cook for a minute or two.
  5. Adjust the salt and pepper and add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice to brighten it.
  6. Serve the soup hot, garnished with the reserved pancetta crisps, the toasted breadcrumbs, and the grated Parmigiano.


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