Cannellini Bean Soup

A dietary staple in Italian cuisine, cannellini beans bring tremendous flavor to this soup. Make it a day ahead of time -- it will taste even better when you're ready to eat it. From the book "Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).

  • Yield: Makes 8 servings
Cannellini Bean Soup

Source: Mad Hungry, November 2010


  • 2 1/2 cups dry cannellini beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 small (6-inch) long carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 4 celery stalks (the tender inner stalks with leaves), peeled and chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Rinse the beans well and place in a large pot. Cover the beans with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn off the heat. Allow to soak for 1 hour.

  2. Place the olive oil, onions, and garlic in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, after about 30 seconds, add the carrots and celery and continue to cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 minutes.

  3. Add 6 cups of the soaked beans, cover with 10 cups of cold water, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender and creamy, at least 1 1/2 but up to 2 1/2 hours. Add water if necessary to achieve desired consistency; the soup should be thick. Add the salt halfway through the cooking. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, freshly black ground black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.


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