Recipes > Pancetta White Bean Soup

Pancetta White Bean Soup


This is a twist on the classic BLT sandwich - pancetta, crispy lettuce, tomato and garlic crostini.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 51,875
  • Success Rating: 94% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Crostini

Making the Crostini
  • 1 whole French baguette
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grey salt


To start the crostini, preheat the oven to 375° degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the baguette into 1/2" -inch slices and place the pieces onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Brush lightly with olive oil. Bake, oil side up, for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden.

While the bread is cooking, peel the garlic and set aside. Once the bread is ready, lightly rub the oiled side with the raw garlic and while the bread is still warm, sprinkle with a little grey salt.

Step 2: Making the Soup

Making the Soup
  • 6 slices pancetta (or prosciutto, bacon or ham)
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 - 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
  • 2 - 19 oz cans cannellini or white beans
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce (optional)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (depends on saltiness of pancetta)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 parmesan rind (optional)


To start the soup, first émincé the garlic. Slice the pancetta into small strips. Dice the tomatoes and reserve the juice.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the pancetta for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to turn golden, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato juice and chicken stock. Then add the rosemary, parmesan rind, salt and pepper and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the beans and bring just back to a simmer to heat the beans through.

Just before serving the soup, check and adjust the seasoning. Shred the lettuce. Place a small handful of lettuce in the bottom of a bowl and ladle the soup over top. Serve immediately with the garlic crostini.

Chef's Notes

Save those leftover parmesan rinds! Store them in a freezer bag and toss them into soups for added flavor.


  • Gerred P
    Gerred P
    Yes I did. Lovely. The lettuce is an inspiration. Could do with a few chilli flakes in there somewhere.
  • Ingrid  Z
    Ingrid Z
    I made the soup tonight and my family said it was the best soup I have made, I used spiced Pancetta which really gave it more flavour, did not use the lettuce, although i noticed the previous writer said the lettuce was an inspiration, so may try the lettuce next time. I also used veg stock instead of Chicken, it truly was delcious.
  • Dee F
    Dee F
    This was very simple and healthy...thanks.
  • Judi G
    Judi G
    We just finished off a couple of bowls of this soup and it was excellent. Even though I had forgot to brown the pancetta in the oil (I am still working on ALWAYS doing the mis en place!) it was still delicious. And I was able to throw in some of the rind from my Parmesan as well. This is a great, quick recipe for a healthy, light, simple meal. mmmmmmm.
  • Ekaterina F
    Ekaterina F
    Where do you buy these canned San Marzano tomatoes then? :-) (I live in Indiana and am quite good at shopping online too, but I cann't find a can which will look like the one in your video :-) Thank you.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Check with any local Italian deli. Also try phoning around to any grocer that sells good quality ingredients. If they don't sell them perhaps they maybe be able to point you in the right direction. San Marzano tomatoes are becoming more and more available, I guess because they are more in demand. I know you can also order them on line. But don't get too carried away if they are super expensive. Here is a Drill-down about "Buying Quality Canned Tomatoes" that might give you some more info about buying other quality tomatoes that may be available in your local grocery store. Good Luck!
  • Claudia A
    Claudia A
    No lettuce on hand, but some nice Swiss chard needing to be used. Chopped the chard (without the stems) and added to the soup before the beans and simmered until tender, then added the beans. Excellent! Would make this simple soups again.
  • Grace P
    Grace P
    Is it comparable to use a different type of hard cheese rind, such as Manchego, or is the Parmesean rind the only type that produces the desired result?
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    I believe the only reason the parmesan was used, is because this soup is Italian. That said, I am sure Manchego would also work nicely. I say experiment with what you have. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Monique G
    Monique G
    I really want to try this recipe, but I don't like chunky cooked tomatoes. I can handle the smaller chunks. I guess it's the texture. Any suggestions on how to make this with more to a tomato soup texture or smaller chunks of tomatoes?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Monique. I would just switch out the whole, peeled tomatoes for strained tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. Strained tomatoes are the smoothest option. You can also use whole tomatoes and use an immersion blender after adding the tomatoes and stock but before adding beans. Enjoy, Lauren

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