A light soup with a real zesty flavor. Use items from your garden or fresh produce from your grocery store to bring out the fresh flavor of this bacon and bean soup.
- 1 1/4 pounds thick-sliced bacon, cooked, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- We recommend the Hickory Smoked Bacon from Woods Smoked Meats or for a meatier version try the Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Bacon.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 1 pound Great Northern beans, soaked overnight, save 2 cups cooking liquid;
- or 4 15oz. cans undrained
- 3 TBSP butter
- 10 cups chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat the olive oil in the soup pot. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon each of the chopped thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the beans and liquid, stock, and butter and bring to a boil.
- Simmer the soup over moderately low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours for dried and soaked; or about 10 minutes for canned.
- Discard the bay leaf and stir in the remaining thyme and rosemary.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Use the cooked, chopped bacon as a garnish, and serve.