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:

  1. Decanting naturally removes sediment without filtering
  2. The temperature never exceeds 80F during pressing
  3. 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
  4. Acidity is less than .4%
  5. 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.


  1. I’d love to win this. Thanks!

  2. Liked and shared on Facebook!

  3. Debra, the pics are making me soup-hungry! I agree that Jovial has the best olive oil … and also that anyone who’s ever wanted to visit Italy for great gluten-free food should consider one of Jovial’s Culinary GetAways. The food rocks, the villa outside Lucca is divine, and there are wonderful friendships formed 🙂

  4. Looks delicious! I love me a good olive oil.

  5. I *just* read a post on Dinner: A Love Story where she wishes that people would consider bottles of good olive oil as hostess gifts instead of wine. I love both, but I’d be thrilled if someone showed up at my door with olive oil! Soup looks amazing!

  6. Sounds amazing.

  7. That olive oil sounds incredible. Cannot wait to make the soup.

  8. I’m not sure if this appears selfish, lol! I’d love this to give to family members so they can taste the goodness. Some already bought gift baskets themselves, others are waiting for my gifts!

  9. Psssst… that soup looks Fabu!

    Don’t tell anyone but I have an Olive Oil addiction.


  10. Bean soup – it really doesn’t get much better than a bowl of this when it’s cold outside!

  11. I love trying new gluten-free items! Count me in please!

  12. I absolutely adored their olive oil and am totally dreaming about Lucca now ; ) Gorg soup Deb!

  13. I just recently started making beans from scratch. I’ll have to put this on my menu in the near future.

  14. WOW, what a delightful place Luca is and the wonderful experience to create a documentary on such beautiful and important tradition. Lucky you. Jovial products sound so delicious and I can only imagine how tasty they are. I grew up eating a soup very similar to this… loves those memories.

  15. This soup sounds wonderful and the giveaway sounds GRAND. I love a good olive oil and I’ve never tried Jovial before.

  16. Love your blog and follow it on my Feedly! My daughter is GF and she and a college friend will be here for dinner tonight, so I am making this soup. Thanks!! AND I would love any products from Jovial as I use their pasta carried here at Central Market.

  17. The soup looks delicious! And the jovial olive oil sounds super tasty too!

  18. Looks great! Thanks!

  19. Would love to try some Jovial products. Happy Holidays!