I imagine I’m like quite a few who grew up eating soup from a red and white can – you know, the kind where you pour the contents into a pan, fill the empty can with water, add that to the pot, stir and heat? Vegetable Beef with Barley, Chicken Noodle, Chicken and Stars, Tomato, and Cream of Mushroom were lined up like tin soldiers behind the tall blue and white cabinets in that galley kitchen in the little house on Ankeny Street.
I can’t really tell you when I threw caution to the wind and began making my own soup but now I make a pot of soup nearly every week – the base of each soup is usually onions, carrots, celery, garlic . . . and olive oil.
This creamy bean and pasta soup has become one of our staples this year and reminds me of my dad’s favorite soup all those years ago: Bean with Bacon. While it doesn’t have bacon it does have pancetta – and orange bits of carrot, light green bits of celery, as well as onions, garlic, rosemary, a bay leaf and of course, beans – the addition of a generous half-cup of olive oil and pasta gives this soup its creaminess and a stick-to-your-ribs feel which is especially nice during these cold winter months.
The Professor and I are very fortunate to have a professional working relationship with Jovial Foods – a company dedicated to bringing Italy’s finest organic, heritage products here to the US. Jovial’s olive oil is made exclusively from three ancient varieties of olives grown in Italy’s Veneto region: Favarol, Grignano and Nostrano. These particular olives were cultivated by the Romans 1,000 years ago and now a small group of passionate farmers are working to save these unique varieties from extinction. We’re working on a mini-documentary with Jovial about these farmers and they will have the piece on the Jovial site soon; but suffice it to say, these farmers are dedicated to preserving the ancient trees as well as the way each harvest of olive oil is pressed and bottled.
A few additional facts:
- Decanting naturally removes sediment without filtering
- The temperature never exceeds 80F during pressing
- The facility is exclusively dedicated to pressing and bottling olive oil; it is a family run press completely free of gluten, nuts, seeds and other allergens
- Acidity is less than .4%
- The resulting oil has a delicate flavor, with the perfect balance of fruitiness
And if your dream vacation involves cooking in a 17th Century Italian Villa, you might consider signing up for one of Jovial’s Culinary Getaways:
Cooking or baking, we use Jovial’s olive oil exclusively; we’ve tried quite a few over the years – some good, some ‘meh’ but nothing really outstanding – until now. And a little beauty tip: a small amount massaged into your skin straight out of the shower produces silky smooth skin. I’m not kidding.
A giveaway for one of our readers: One of you will have the opportunity to try Jovial products too; one winner will receive THREE one-liter bottles of olive oil and a GLUTEN-FREE GIFT BASKET – total value of this giveaway is $150! Products will ship January 2014 – US address only.
ONE MORE SPECIAL OFFER: “Following a bountiful harvest, Jovial Foods is pleased to offer the new harvest reserve blend olive oil for only $60 (with free shipping), instead of the usual $74.99- now through December 31st . This year’s olives were particularly large and juicy, and the olive oil reflects their delicate flavor, with the perfect balance of fruitiness. You’ll be getting the freshest and most authentic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil direct from our farmers to you.”
Just leave a comment and one winner will be randomly chosen on Monday, December 22, 2014; ‘like’ and ‘share’ this post on Facebook for an extra entry.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post; however, all opinons are mine.
GLUTEN-FREE CREAMY BEAN AND PASTA SOUP
Adapted from Domenica Marchetti, the glorious PASTA of Italy
- 4 15-ounce cans white kidney beans
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup Jovial Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
- 8 cups water
- kosher salt/pepper
- 1 generous pinch of red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces Jovial gluten-free spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
- Fresh parmesan for topping, if desired
- Drain and rinse beans, set aside
- In a large Dutch oven, add the beans, pancetta, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary and bay leaf
- Pour in the olive oil and stir to combine and coat the contents
- Add the water and place over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for about and hour and a half
- Remove the pan from heat and cool for about 15 minutes
- Remove about 2 cups of the soup into a blender (you can use an immersion blender as well) – leaving some of the beans and vegetables
- Puree until smooth and return puree to the pot; the mixture will be very soupy but will thicken once the pasta is added
- Season the soup with salt and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil and add broken pasta
- Boil gently for 9 minutes or until pasta is al dente
- Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan if desired