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Bortolli Bean Soup with Pancetta

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups Borlotti bean (or fresh shell bean)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 cups meat or vegetable stock
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon


  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half before tossing them with the olive oil. Roast in a cast iron pan on the stove until they're just soft. Set them aside.
  • While the tomatoes are roasting, add the beans, rosemary, chili flakes, bay leaves, stock, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt together in a large Dutch oven.
  • Bring the soup to a boil before reducing heat so that they beans are just barely simmering.
  • Cook the soup, uncovered, until the beans are just barely soft to the bite. This will take about 30-45 minutes.
  • Season the soup to taste with salt and continue to cook it until the beans are creamy, but not mushy. About another 15 minutes.
  • While the beans are doing their final cooking, dice the pancetta into small pieces and cook in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain and set aside.
  • To serve, dish up the soup and add the diced pancetta and roasted tomatoes on top. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper.


The recipe can be adapted to utilize dried beans as well. To do this, simply soak the dried beans for 12 hours in a bowl of room temperature water before continuing on with the recipe. 
Keyword Bean