Italian Bean Soup with Orange and Fennel

Ingredients

  • 1 medium bulb fennel or 2 leeks leek, diced 1/2 inch (~1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, diced 1/2 inch (~1 cup)
  • 2-3 ribs celery, diced 1/2 inch (~1 cup)
  • 2-3 carrots, diced 1/2 inch (~1 cup)
  • 3 ounces bacon, chopped fine, optional
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 anchovy fillets, minced to paste (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 cup dried beans + 4 smashed garlic gloves + 1/2 roughly chopped onion
  • 1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, about 5 inches by 2 inches, optional
  1. Mix 1 cup rinsed dry beans in 6 cups of water, 4 smashed garlic gloves, 1/2 a roughly sliced onion, 1 bay leaf, and some chicken broth powder in Instant Pot. Turn on high pressure cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on size of beans. Allow natural release for 15 minutes, then manual release. Remove bay leaf, but do not drain.
  2. If using bacon, add chopped bacon to big soup pot and sautee until onion releases.
  3. Add fennel/leek and onion in a big soup pot and sautee until softened, 5 mins.
  4. Add carrot and celery, sautee 5-10 more minutes until softened.
  5. Add minced garlic, fennel, oregano, pepper flakes, orange zest and anchovies and sautee 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  6. Pour in diced tomatoes, and parmesan rind, if using. Bring to a boil.
  7. Add beans and bean cooking liquid until you feel there is enough liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cover for 20-30 minutes until flavors meld.