Lemony White Bean Soup + Pork And Broccoli Rabe

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Lemony White Bean Soup + Pork And Broccoli Rabe

Serves 4  | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ever have that box of pasta that’s not enough for everyone and just ends of taking precious space in the pantry? This soup takes care of it and more. Serve with a nice big green salad with some toasted nuts, lemon juice and olive oil.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, divided
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes (l like using Marash chile)
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or filtered water (plus some Better Then Bouillon)
  • 6–8 ounces pasta (short, tube-y noodle or something fun like radiatori)**
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, thick stems removed, chopped (sub kale or collard greens)
  • Lot’s of parmesan or pecorino
  • Fresh lemon juice at the end to taste

Chef Tips

get some really good fresh Italian pork sausage instead of the ground pork to really up the game. If you want to make a quick fresh pork sausage take 1.75% of the weight of the meat in salt and add some fennel seed, black pepper, garlic and chili flakes.

**white beans/or lentils would be a great substitute in place of the pasta to mix it up.


Step 1

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add pork and season with salt and pepper. Cook, resisting the urge to break it up too much at first. As it browns, break it up into small pieces; some of the pork will get very small (these will get very brown and crispy) and some will stay larger in sausage-like clumps (these will stay tender and juicer). Once the pork is about 80% browned to your liking, about 6–8 minutes, add the garlic and celery. Continue cooking until the pork is well browned throughout and the garlic is softened and starting to brown around the edges, another 4–5 minutes.

Step 2

Add the fennel seed and crushed red pepper flakes. Give it a stir to toast the spices in the pork fat, cooking a minute or two. Add the chicken broth (or the water and Better than Bouillon), season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Step 3

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a medium pot of salted water until just before al dente (it’ll continue to cook in the soup, but good to give it a head start. I don’t love cooking raw pasta in the soup, makes the broth too starchy/cloudy).

Step 4

Once the soup has simmered a few minutes, add the broccoli rabe, stirring to wilt. Simmer another 5–8 minutes or so, until the rabe is tender and the flavors have mingled appropriately. Season with salt, pepper and more crushed red pepper flakes if you like.

Step 5

To serve, ladle into bowls and top with tons of cheese. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to taste.