Italian White Bean Soup With a Provolone Gratinee

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Onions-diced
1/4 Cup Celery-diced
1/4 Cup Carrots-diced
2 tsp. Garlic-minced
1/2 tsp. Rosemary-minced
2 Cans White Beans-drained (15 oz. Cans)
1 Qt. Chicken or Vegetable Broth
8 French Bread Slices-rubbed with olive oil, toasted until crisp
8 Provolone Cheese Slices-thickly sliced
Salt, Black Pepper, and Parmesan Cheese to Taste

Heat a heavy bottom soup pot on medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onions, celery, and carrots. Cook stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary, cook for 30 seconds. Add the white beans and chicken broth to the pot, cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender. Puree the soup if desired with a hand blender, or mash some of the beans with a hand potato masher. Season soup to taste with salt, black pepper and Parmesan. If soup is too thick for your liking, thin with more broth or water. If soup is too thin for your liking, simmer without a lid for a bit longer to reduce.

To gratinee, preheat your broiler setting in your oven. Divide the soup into oven proof crocks about 7/8ths full. Place two of the toasted French bread on top of each soup and two slices of provolone cheese on the bread. Place soup crocks under the broiler until golden brown and bubbly. Serve and enjoy! (Caution, will be very hot!)

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