2 T extra-light olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with cotton butcher’s twine
2 bay leaves
8 cups chicken stock
3 (14 oz) cans great northern or any white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (3-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
In a large pot or Dutch oven, fry the pancetta over medium heat until golden. Pour off most of the grease and discard.
Add the oil to the pot and sauté the onion until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaves, chicken stock, beans, and cheese rind.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for about 25 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and cheese rind.
Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with grated Parmigiano cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Serves 4 to 6