“Marcella” White Bean Soup


Hazan's White Bean Soup

Easy peasy.

This soup couldn’t be easier to prepare–or more delicious.

The link to the original Marcella Hazan recipe from which this dish was adapted appears at the bottom of this post along with a link to heirloom bean supplier Rancho Gordo which markets a wonderful cannellini bean, the Marcella, that is superb in this soup.

Rancho Gordo’s Steve Sando credits much of his cooking expertise and inspiration to Marcella Hazan, the famed Italian cookbook author and cook. Before her death, he and Hazan conducted a correspondence about beans and particularly about a sorara cannellini bean that Hazan particularly favored but found difficult to source in the United States. Sando and Rancho Gordo found a sorara seedstock and was able to introduce this bean to the heirloom bean market. In Hazan’s honor, the Rancho Gordo bean was named Marcella.

Recipe:  “Marcella” White Bean Soup

1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. chopped garlic
2  C.  cooked (drained) Rancho Gordo Marcella white beans (or 6 C. canned beans, drained)
Salt and black pepper
1 C. vegetable broth (or Vegemite broth)
2 T. chopped cilantro or parsley


Cook beans in a pressure cooker and drain (or use 6 C canned, drained beans).

Put the oil and chopped garlic in a large pan and cook until the garlic is a light brown color. This will happen quickly in hot oil.

Add drained beans to oil and garlic along with salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. If your beans are breaking down at this point you need to do nothing. If you bean skins are not breaking down, puree about 1/2 C. of beans and return to the pot along with the broth.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chopped cilantro or parsley.

Serve with shaved parmesan cheese and thick slices of toasted bread.

Cook’s Notes: This recipe makes a very thick soup. You may need to add extra broth at serving time. The original recipe called for beef broth, by the way. I substituted vegetable broth and a bit of Vegemite. I have also served these wonderful beans on slices of baguette sprinkled with some asagio cheese and warmed under the oven broiler. With a green salad, this makes a great dinner.

Here is the link to the original recipe:

White Beans with Garlic and Parsley

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