Friday, May 6, 2016

Bean with Bacon Soup

Most people bring out their soup recipes when it gets cold, but for me, I love bean soup any time of the year.  Great Northern White Beans are my favorite.

I've made the same tried and true simple recipe as long as I can remember. Start with dry Great Northern White Beans and prepare them as described in this recipe, add fresh water just past the beans and add diced ham.  If you have one, a ham bone works best, especially if you have left meat on the bone for the soup.  Cook several hours until beans are tender.  Taste . . . you will know when they are ready.  

Don't forget to make some fresh cornbread.

Here is the Pioneer Woman's recipe for soup using Great Northern White Beans. 


1 pound Great Northern White Beans
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 pound 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 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 whole Bay Leaves
Minced Parsley, To Taste
3 whole Roma Tomatoes, Chopped (optional)


Give the beans a rinse. Put them in a large pot and cover with water by two inches. Let them soak overnight.

Drain the beans. Add chicken stock and 4 cups of water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until just barely crisp while the beans are cooking.  Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Add 2/3 of the bacon to the beans and reserve the rest for garnish.

Drain the bacon grease from the pan; add onions, carrots, and celery. Season with some salt and pepper and cook until just beginning to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. 

Add vegetable mixture to the beans. Add the bay leaf and stir. 

Cover and cook on low (to medium-low) until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add a cup of broth if the liquid level gets too low.

When ready to serve, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. If desired, stir in the tomatoes. Serve with chopped reserved bacon and chopped parsley.

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