Bean with Bacon Soup

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Yields: 10 serving(s) Prep Time: 12 hrs Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins Total Time: 13 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Great Northern White Beans
  • 4 c. Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 lb. Thick-cut Bacon, Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 2 whole Large Carrots, Peeled And Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • Minced Parsley, To Taste
  • 3 whole Roma Tomatoes, Chopped (optional)

Directions

Pick the beans and rinse them in cold water. Place in a bowl and cover with 2 cm of water. Let soak in the water overnight.

Drain the beans and place them in a pot. Add chicken broth and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

While beans are simmering, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Add 2/3 of the bacon to the beans, reserving the rest for garnish.

Drain the bacon grease from the pan and add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, until wilted. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add the vegetables to the beans. Add bay leaves and stir well. Cover and cook over low heat (to medium at most) until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. When the liquid level is reduced, add 1 cup of broth.

When finished, taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. If desired, add tomatoes. Serve with chopped bacon and chopped parsley.


Sorry for all the soup posts lately, but it’s been very cold here on the ranch and soup seems to be the only way to cope. Oh ……. This soup! It was zingy and delicious. So good, so flavorful, so super satisfying! It will remind you of the bean and bacon soups you had as a child.

Or even little boys, depending on your personal experience.

Here’s how to make it!

First, if you remember, and I don’t always remember because I can’t read air, soak 1 pound of cannellini beans in cold water overnight. Apparently soaking the beans absorbs the water and reduces the cooking time considerably. It also keeps the beans from cracking and flailing around in the pot, allowing them to cook evenly.

When you are ready to make the stock, drain the water and throw the beans into the pot.

Add chicken broth…

and water. Turn on the rice cooker and bring the broth to a boil.

While it is heating, cut 1 package of thick-cut bacon into 1-inch cubes.

Throw into the pan and heat over medium heat….

Cook, stirring around the pan….

until crispy.

When soup comes to a boil, pour 2/3 of the bacon mixture into the pan, reserving the remaining 1/3 for garnish once the soup is cooked. Reduce heat to low and add remaining ingredients.

Pick up carrots, celery, and onion.

Cut the celery into small pieces….

Next, peel the carrots and dice them as well.

Do the same with the onion.

Discard the bacon oil from the pan, but do not wash the pan! If you do, you will regret it. If you do that, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

Sorry, I’m a drama queen, but these things are important.

Then add the vegetables….

and mix them in the pan and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper along the way.

Add the garlic…

and about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste….

and cook the vegetables and paste for a few minutes, stirring in the pan.

And – you guessed it – the crazy stuff goes straight into the soup!

Oh ……. It tastes so good. (And it smells very, very good).

Add a few bay leaves ……….

Stir it all together one last time, cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for about an hour and a half.

It looks like this. It’s beautiful (by the way, keep an eye on the soup while it’s cooking). This is about how long it takes for the liquid level to drop. (You can add another cup or so of broth along the way if necessary.)

Serve hot. ……….

Add some bacon…

and a sprinkle of parsley!

Bliss. Just blissful. And it tastes just like the soup I had as a child.

This will become your favorite. I promise.

Oh, here’s a little twist. Chop up the roma tomatoes…

and mix them into the finished soup just before eating.

You will enjoy the fresh flavor of the tomatoes and the chunky texture.

“Tomato flavor”?

(I always like to make words on Monday mornings).