I made this soup forevvvvver ago. I’ve been putting off sharing it with you because the photos I took were just atrocious. And it was so long ago that I don’t even remember why they came out so poorly. I assume it was from a very dark kitchen and some very poor photography skills… my point is, it was embarrassing, so I’ve been ashamedly hiding it away in my drafts folder. Plus the recipe is a little laborious for a vegetable soup so I haven’t been too eager to share it. BUT I have recently downloaded Adobe Lightroom 4 and it has changed my life. It is the simplest, most effective photoshop program, I swear. Not as though I am an expert with photoshop or anything, but it’s my new favorite program. I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and have been using that since about February. It’s been doing me well, helping to fine tune some necessary photos. But even Elements couldn’t help these Soup photos. They were SO dark and SO shadowy. Then I found Lightroom. I was able to take various areas of the photograph and alter them specifically as needed. I’m no pro, by any means, and these photos could still use some work, but it’s definitely an improvement!
Here is the before shot:
And this is what it looked like after some Lightroom work:
Much better right? I thought so. If you’re interested in learning some more about Lightroom, I encourage you to head on over to Kevin & Amanda. They wrote a great post on how to use it. I LOVE it and highly recommend it. You can get a 30 day free trial on the Adobe website.
But as far as this soup is concerned, it’s a little bit labor intensive, like I said, but it’s very healthy. Chocked full of vegetables and seasoned well with rosemary. It’s quite delicious indeed.
- 6 oz pancetta, cut into 1″ cubes
- 12 cups water, plus extra if needed
- 1 lb dried cannellini beans (2 cups), picked over and rinsed
- 1 large onion, unpeeled and halved, plus 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled, plus 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 2 small carrots, diced medium
- 2 celery ribs, diced medium
- 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise into ½-inch pieces, and rinsed thoroughly
- 4 oz kale, stemmed and leaves cut into ½-inch strips
- 4 oz escarole, stemmed and leaves cut into ½-inch strips
- 6 oz red potato, diced medium
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Cook pancetta in dutch oven over medium heat until just golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add water, beans, halved onion, unpeeled garlic cloves, bay leaf, and 1 tsp salt and bring water to a boil. Cover pot partially, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are almost tender, 1 to 1¼ hours. Remove beans from heat , cover, and let stand until beans are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Discard pancetta, onion, unpeeled garlic, and bay leaf. Set beans aside in bowl.
- While beans are cooling, heat oil in pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrots, chopped onion, celery, and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add enough water to reserved bean cooking liquid to equal 9 cups and add to pot with kale and escarole. Increase heat and bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Add potatoes and tomatoes, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add beans to pot, increase heat to med-high, and bring to a simmer. Submerge rosemary in liquid, cover, and let stand off heat 15 to 20 minutes. Discard rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.