Crockpot? This healthy recipe will ward off the season’s first chills, warm you from your toes to your soul, and help use up those late-breaking garden greens before they freeze. Whip up this soup before you leave home in the morning: it takes only 20 minutes to prepare and 4 hours to cook in your slow cooker while you’re away.
There is nothing new about bean soup with pancetta and greens. It’s bean soup with pork thrown in. What is new is what my taste buds are shouting at me: bean with bacon soup is just too salty! Pancetta is pork belly that is cured and not smoked like bacon and seems like a lower-sodium option to bring the umami of pork into the soup. But I needed to verify it, not wanting to take my taste-buds’ word for it.
I searched for information on sodium content in bacon versus pancetta and found nothing in the food and nutrition blogs, so I checked the Boar’s Head website’s nutritional information and found out that, indeed, bacon is saltier. That’s when I converted to using pancetta in my bean soup. Admittedly, the name bean soup with pancetta and greens doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily, but on the tongue it is a delicious soup with noticeably less sodium, less fat and less cholesterol than bean with bacon soup.
As the price of meat continues to rise, the mighty bean can be prepared to great satisfaction as in this bean soup with pancetta and greens. A bias toward beans helps you better manage your food budget while providing your family with the nutrition they need. For example, according to Bush’s Beans, there are 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber and 270 mg of potassium in every 1/2 cup serving of cannellini beans. Getting in the habit of replacing meat with beans also saves space in my tiny kitchen because I use fewer pots and pans. Bean soup with pancetta and greens is not only nutritious but it’s hearty and it makes a satisfying meal along with a crusty loaf of bread.
This soup can begin the night before by soaking your beans covered in water 2 inches above the beans and adding a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Soaking in salt water? Exactly what we learned NOT to do, is exactly what we should do a little of, that is, sprinkle in a tiny bit of salt. It’s all about the food chemistry; here’s why……