1¼ c. borlotti or Madeira* beans, soaked3 Tbsp. olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 carrot, diced 1 celery rib, diced 1 bay leaf 2 green garlics, minced 1 Tbsp. tomato paste chunk of Parmesan cheese rind salt & ground pepper olive oil, as needed 1 head radicchio aged red wine vinegar
Drain & rinse beans, then set aside. Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, & bay leaf. Cook over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until onion gains color, about 10 mins. Add garlic, cook for 1 min. longer, then work in tomato paste, letting it fry in oil for a minute or so. Add beans, cheese rind, & 7 c. water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover pot, & cook for one hour. Add 1.5 tsp. salt. Continue cooking until beans are fully tender, another 30 mins or longer. Remove bay leaf & cheese rind. Set aside a cup of beans, puree the rest with broth until very smooth, then return it to pan. Taste for salt. Season with pepper. When you’re ready to eat, generously film a cast-iron pan with olive oil. Cut radicchio into rough 1½” squares. When oil is hot, add radicchio to pan, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring every so often, until the color turns from red to reddish brown, about 5 mins. Add splash of vinegar & continue cooking, stirring frequently, until leaves are glazed & tender when you taste one. Season with a little pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, divide reserved beans among them, then add radicchio to each bowl.
*Madeira beans are large cranberry beans.
Adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen