If soup were a cozy blanket. I love the texture of this bean bisque, thick and smooth, but not baby food pureed. The bites have a comforting substance. An entire onion is cooked until sweet and brown and completely soft, as the first step, and I really feel it gives such a savory depth to the flavor--don't skip it. Scattered on top is crispy pancetta with a hint of smoked paprika, again, more flavor. All you need then is some crusty bread and a good beer. Dinner-done.
If you aren't able to find pancetta, bacon or ham will do fine.
Notes: Olive oil is extra virgin.
CREAMY WHITE BEAN BISQUE WITH PANCETTA
Ingredients: 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 large yellow onion, 2 cans rinsed and drained cannellini beans, 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup half & half, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 4 ounces pancetta, 1/3 tsp. smoked paprika, dried dill (optional).
1. Roughly chop pancetta. Cook with the paprika in a large saucepan over medium until crispy, then remove to paper towel. In the same pan, add olive oil and onion. Turn down to medium-low, and cook until onion is soft, brown, and caramelized. Stir in garlic.
2. Deglaze the pan with apple cider vinegar, scraping up any onion-y bits. Add beans, chicken broth, half & half, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, turn down simmer until beans are very soft, about 20 minutes. Carefully, using an immersion blender (or standard blender), blitz until smooth.
3. Stir in Parmesan cheese, serve with pancetta on top and a bit of dried dill, if you like.