Tuscan Bean Soup with Bacon and Kabanos – comfort food at its finest. It’s hearty and delicious, a meal on its own.
We’ve had so much snow here over the past week or so, you’d think winter is just beginning, although in most places winter is ending and spring is beginning. On such dreary winter days I crave comfort food and there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of bean soup.
Tuscan soup is usually a hearty soup usually made with inexpensive vegetables such as cabbage, or cannellini beans. I made mine with with navy beans and black eyed beans, a 19 oz can of each. Now if you’re wondering what kabanos is, wonder no more. It’s a long and thin dry Polish or Hungarian sausage made of pork. They are are so delicious and we found them at our local Polish store. I used two links here which I chopped into smaller pieces. So basically this is a hearty pork and bean soup. It is the ultimate comfort food.
Pork and beans is a staple in Romanian homes, so I have a few recipes I learned from my mom, and every area of the country has their own versions. One thing they do have in common is how they eat pork and bean soups or stews. Normally with thicker soups which are sour such as our popular beef soup are enjoyed with pickled hot peppers, which is a must when eating such a soup. However, pork and beans soups or stews are enjoying with raw onions and salt. I know what you’re thinking, but basically you take an onion, cut it in quarters and serve it on a plate with salt, so as you’re eating the bean soup, you take a piece of onion, dip it in salt and voila. You might think it’s strange, but this is very common in Romania. Red onions are perfect for this.
- 2 19 oz cans of cannellini beans I used 1 19 oz can of navy beans and 1 19 oz can of black eyed beans
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 links Kabanos sausage
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- more water if soup is too thick
Add the bacon to a soup pot or a large dutch oven and fry the bacon until brown. Remove bacon from the pot and add the tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and the kabanos sausage to the pot and fry until onion is translucent and sausage is slightly browned. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes.
Drain water from beans and discard. Rinse well and add beans to the pot. Add broth, heavy cream, paprika, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. I used about a tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes. If the soup is too thick add more water, or if you want it thicker add another can of beans.
To serve, garnish soup with remaining bacon pieces.