Monday, December 9, 2013

White Bean Soup with Bacon

I didn't set out for this to be a blog post, but I posted a picture on Facebook of the soup I made this nice cold weekend, and got some requests for the recipe, so here we go!
Soups and stews are nice for a number of reasons:
-- they're hardy and hearty
-- relatively inexpensive to make
-- don't require the precision that baking does, and are generally easy to halve, double, or make other changes (sometimes known as winging it)

This soup was from a blog post on a site called The Crazy Apron, and the original post is here. I thought that six cans of beans sounded like a bit much, and changed things along the way. I am quite happy with how mine came out, but don't be afraid to make some tweaks of your own.

White Bean Soup with Bacon, serves 4

6 ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped (I think a smoked ham hock would be very nice too)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 (15 ounces) cans white beans (I used great northerns), drained & rinsed
3 cups chicken stock/broth, warmed a bit
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice

-- Heat a Dutch oven (at least 3 quarts) over medium heat.
-- Add bacon and cook until crisp; remove with slotted spoon & let drain on paper towel.
-- Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease, and of course save for another use!
-- Add olive oil and butter to bacon grease over medium heat.
-- Add onion, carrots, and celery; allow to soften for about 5 minutes.
-- Add garlic; let cook another 2 - 3 minutes until aromatic.
-- Add thyme, salt and pepper, beans, and about 2/3 the cooked bacon, stirring to combine.
-- Add broth; increase heat to high, and bring to a low boil.
-- Reduce heat to medium/medium low (whatever allows it to keep simmering gently), pot covered most of the way; stir occasionally and simmer for 30 minutes.
-- Remove thyme.
-- If you have an immersion (stick) blender, place it in the pot and blend about half the mixture; alternately, you can just mash with a potato masher, or if you really want to mash it, carefully ladle into half into a blender and puree.
-- Stir to combine, and return to heat for about 10 more minutes.
-- Remove from heat; add lemon zest and juice.
-- Ladle into individual serving bowls, and serve with reserved bacon on top; great with crusty garlic bread.


  1. This looks so good! Going to have to add it into my soup rotation.

    1. Thanks! It was easy, and of course everything is better with bacon! :)