Bean Crema with Bay Leaves

Prep Time

30 Minutes

Cook Time

120 Minutes


Serves 6 – 8


Most ingredients are available in the market!


1 cup Dried Cannellini Beans
2 ea Celery Stalks
2 ea Carrots
1 ea Red Onion, Peeled
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 lb Prosciutto, Sliced
4 cups Homemade Chicken Broth
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
6 ea Bay Leaves, For Serving
6 ea tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, For Serving

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water.
2. The next morning, drain the beans and rinse them under cold running water.
3. Coarsely cut the prosciutto.
4. Cut the celery into 1/2in pieces.
5. Peel the carrots and cut them into 1/2in pieces.
6. Coarsely chop the onion.
7. Heat the oil in a terra cotta pot over medium heat.
8. Add the prosciutto and sauté lightly for 2 minutes.
9. Add the beans to the pot, then add the celery, carrots, onion and enough water to cover all the ingredients completely.
10. Season with salt and pepper.
11. Cover the pot and simmer over medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours.
12. By that time the beans should be completely cooked and the water almost absorbed by the beans.
13. Pass the contents of the pot through a food mill, using the disk with the small holes, into a second pot.
14. Add the chicken broth.
15. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 1 hour.
16. By that time the texture of the soup should be thick and smooth.
17. Taste for salt and pepper.
18. Meanwhile, soak the bay leaves in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes.
19. Drain them and add them to the soup.
20. Simmer for 5 minutes longer.
21. Serve the soup hot in individual bowls.
22. Top each bowl with one bay leaf, 1 tsp of olive oil and one crack of pepper.

Recipe Source

Giuliano Bugialli’s Foods of ITALY