Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
For a perfect summer supper, serve this hearty country soup with crusty bread, a tossed green salad and a glass of chilled white wine.Summer's vine-ripened tomatoes are a must for this soup! Originally from an August 1984 issue of Bon Apetit in a Great Tomato Recipes article.
- 1 lb great northern bean
- 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 3⁄4 lb onion, thinly sliced
- 4 medium celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1⁄3 lb pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 10 ounces smoked ham, coarsely diced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 12 large)
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- minced fresh parsley (garnish)
- Soak beans in cold water to cover in stockpot overnight. (Or boil beans 3 minutes, then soak 1 hour.).
- Add stock and bay leaves to beans.
- Simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
- Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add onions,celery,and carrots and stir until softened and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes.
- Add pancetta and stir until translucent,about 3 minutes.
- Add ham, sugar and garlic and stir 5 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer.
- Add beans and liquid and cook until thick, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
- Blend in lemon juice;season with salt and pepper.
- Let soup stand at room temperature several hours.
- Garnish with parsley before serving.