Tuscan White Bean Soup

With January being National Soup Month and the weather being so rainy lately, I decided to use some of my beans in the pantry (as well as my new pot!) and make this soup for dinner. It was so yummy! It was thick and satisfying and I loved the slightly-smokey flavor from the pancetta!
Tuscan White Bean Soup
Serves 6

3 ounces pancetta, finely sliced
1 pound Great White Northern/Cannelloni beans, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped (about 11/2 cups)
3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
salt/pepper to taste

1. heat pot over medium heat, add pancetta and cook until crispy
2. add olive oil, onion, and celery and cook until they begin to soften
3. add carrots, garlic, salt and pepper and continue cooking for about 5 minutes
4. add beans, chicken broth, water, and a bay leaf, stir to combine
5. cover and cook over medium heat for about 2 hours, until beans are tender but not mushy (adding more water or broth as needed)
6. puree using an immersion blender until creamy and serve with a loaf of crusty bread for dipping!

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