Originally aired October 24, 2012
- 1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 pound smoky bacon, chopped
- 2 red or white onions, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 fresno chile pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1 28- to 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 cups tomato pure or passata
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
- Grated Pecorino Romano, for sprinkling
- A loaf of bread (such as ciabatta), charred, rubbed with garlic, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, for mopping
In a medium Dutch oven, heat EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat.
Add the onions, garlic, chile, bay leaves, thyme, a little salt and lots of pepper. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato pure and chicken stock, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Stir in the beans and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Serve the soup in shallow bowls. Top with the cooked bacon, a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of cheese. Serve with the bread alongside for mopping.