This hearty White Bean and Bacon Soup is chockfull of wonderful flavor. This time of year with most of the country in a deep freeze and knee deep in snow .. what could be better than a hearty soup. We really can’t complain here in south Georgia, while our weather is cold for us, it’s practically balmy compared the weather up north.
Last week, after spending days trying to get warm, and a chest cold settling in… I decided soup for supper was the answer. I have been wanting to make a white bean soup for weeks and just hadn’t gotten around to it, thinking it would be time comsuning… well I was in for a pleasant surprise… the soup was quick to start and finishing it took no time at all…
The actual recipe is a slight revision of a recipe from Michael Chiarello. He used dried beans that needed to be cooked… I used canned… which saved a lot of time.
His recipe was decidedly more Italian with a Basil topping that I skipped and he made his soup with prosciutto, which I didn’t have in the house and it was far too cold to venture out to the market to get some, so I used smoked bacon… a fabulous choice.. the flavor was fantastic.
The only other change that I made was that I did not put the puree through a sieve… I like a hearty texture to my soup…
We had steaming bowls of this wonderful soup topped with a few garlic and cheese croutons and served with a crusty Cuban bread… we were warmed from the inside out… fabulous for a cold winter night.
I hope you try this wonderful soup!
Recipe: White Bean and Bacon Soup
All you need:
3 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 slices of bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, quartered
About ½ cup of Begium carrots or 1 carrot, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
1 (32 oz.) container chicken stock or broth*
Freshly grated Parmesan, optional (for garnish)
Croutons, optional (for garnish)
*you may need to add more if your soup simmers harder, you want about an inch of liquid over your vegetables
All you need to do:
Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
Simmer gently over low heat for about two hours. Make sure liquid stays about an inch more than the vegetables and bacon.. add more broth if needed.
Remove pot from the heat and allow to cool down.
Remove the bay leaf.
Puree batches of the vegetables and bacon pieces with a little liquid in a blender.
Pour into a bowl.
When all vegetables and bacon have been pureed, return the puree back to the pot and heat until hot.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the soup and garnish with croutons.
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