Italian Beans/Soup

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Chef Extraordinaire
Feb 21, 2002
North Carolina
I made this last year trying to duplicate a recipe from an Italian restaurant in Myrtle Beach. Since I have never tasted their version it was kind of hard to compare. But, nonetheless, this is good.

1/2 of a small bag of dried navy beans (about 1 1/4 cups dried)
1# smoked bacon, cut in squares
2 TBS brown sugar (not tightly packed)
1 large white onion, chopped
2 heads of garlic, roasted
5 cups water
fresh cilantro
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried basil
1 TBS dried parsley

To roast garlic cut off tops, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and place in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Squeeze out garlic cloves directly into bean mixture before cooking. Saute onions, bacon and brown sugar until onion is soft. Do not remove the bacon fat unless there is an excess amount. Add water.
Add the fresh cilantro and the dried herbs and roasted garlic. Cook at 15# pressure. When pressure reaches high, turn down and rock gently for 15-20 minutes. If beans are under cooked you can always put lid back on and pressure cook longer. Just don't overcook or you will have Italian refried beans!

Note #2 - Because there was bacon grease left in pot no need to add additional oil. (When you pressure cook beans the oil keeps them from foaming and getting the hole clogged, which then could result in cleaning your kitchen ceiling)

Garnish with fresh cilantro and grated Pecorino, Parmesan, Mozzarella, or Gruyere. Serve with some rustic bread and a glass of wine.
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