This easy chicken and bean soup is the perfect Sunday supper. It takes a few hours to come together, but your house will smell so delicious and this chicken and bean soup with pancetta is the perfect way to warm your soul!
This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients but does take a while to come together since you’ll prepare a delicious and fragrant homemade chicken stock. This chicken and bean soup is topped with crispy fried pancetta and scallions to add a little extra oomph of flavor.
Although this recipe is pretty easy to put together, it is a bit time-consuming. If you want to reduce the amount of time to prepare, you can simply buy a store-bought rotisserie chicken and use about 4-6 cups store-bought unsalted chicken stock, and skip the stock steps altogether!
Easy Chicken and Bean Soup with Pancetta
- Fine mesh sieve
- Chicken Stock:
- 1 whole chicken
- 3 scallions
- 2 leeks
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 12 cloves garlic
- 1 leek
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 3 stalks celery leaves included, if possible
- 3 scallions divided
- 4 medium gold potatoes
- 2 14.5 ounce cans of great northern beans
- Salt pepper, and cayenne powder to taste
Prepare the Stock Ingredients:
- Trim the scallions and into 3” pieces. Remove the tough outer leaves on the leeks and discard and then trim the bottoms of the leeks. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, thoroughly rinse, and then cut into 3” pieces. Peel and lightly crush the garlic.
Prepare the Stock:
- Place the whole chicken, including giblets if you have them, in a large stockpot along with the scallions, leeks, garlic, black peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons salt. Fill the pot up with water until it's just covering the chicken.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, skimming the fat from the surface of the liquid periodically. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook over a low boil for an additional 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Using kitchen tongs, scoop out the chicken and transfer it to a bowl. Pour the remaining stock through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Wipe out the pot and return it back to the stove.
- Carefully peel the chicken and discard the skin. Pick the meat from the bones and set it aside. Discard the carcass or reserve for another batch of stock, if desired.
Prepare the Remaining Soup Ingredients:
- Remove the tough outer leaves of the leek and trim the leek. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and thoroughly rinse. Slice cross-wise into half-moons. Small-dice the pancetta. Trim the celery and thinly slice. Roughly chop the celery leaves. Trim the scallions and mince, keeping the white and light green parts separate from the dark green parts (the dark green parts should be reserved for garnish). Quarter the potatoes. Drain and rinse the beans.
Prepare the Pancetta:
- Add the pancetta to the stockpot and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring regularly, for 8-10 minutes or until the pancetta is browned and crispy and the fat has rendered. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta, leaving the fat in the pot. Transfer the pancetta to a small bowl.
Cook the Vegetables:
- Return the stockpot to medium-high and add the sliced leeks, celery (with chopped leaves), and the minced white and light green parts of the scallions. Cook, stirring often, for 10-12 minutes or until the leeks and celery are softened and beginning to turn a light golden brown.
Prepare the Soup:
- Add a splash of the homemade chicken stock and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Pour in the remaining stock along with the beans, potatoes, and cooked chicken. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne powder to taste. Bring to a low boil and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes to allow the broth to reduce a touch. Once the potatoes are fork-tender, remover from heat.
Prepare the Garnish:
- To the bowl of pancetta, add the reserved minced scallion greens and toss to combine. Season with a sprinkle of salt if desired.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and pile the scallions and pancetta on top of each bowl. Enjoy!