Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Real Simple Bean and Bacon Soup

I found this recipe on the Real Simple Magazine website.  I have adapted a few things, but I love it.  It is as easy as can be and tastes lots better than the canned stuff.

Real Simple Magazine's Bean and Bacon Soup
4 strips bacon
1 large carrot, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 15.5  ounce can great northern beans, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Let cool, chop, and set aside.  Over medium heat, add the carrot to the pan drippings in the Dutch over and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the celery, onion and garlic, stirring well and cooking for 3 minutes more.  Add the beans and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.  Uncover and, with a potato masher or large slotted spoon, partially mash the bean mixture until it thickens slightly.  Stir in the parsely, salt, pepper and bacon.  Serve hot. 

So that is the recipe the magazine gives.  I have changed a few things to make it easier and I don't think it changes the taste.  I take all the ingredients and dump them in my crockpot all at once.  I use ready cooked bacon from Costco that I keep in my freezer.  I just crumble it in frozen.  If I have a fresh onion I'll use it, but if not I use my dried onion and it works fine.  I rarely have parsley, so I either substitute dried or just leave it out.  I don't pre-cook the vegetables, I just leave it in the crockpot on low for a few hours.  Rather than mashing the beans, I use my immersion blender and just blend the whole thing for a few seconds.  (By the way, the picture is of everything cooking, not the finished product.  This is before it has been blended at all.  The finished soup with have a much creamier texture)

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