February 21, 2012

Bean and Bacon Soup

We've had the most beautiful spring weather in the city for the past few weeks (yes, only in San Francisco--spring in the winter, winter in summer, summer in fall!).  I never wanted it to end.  A far cry from eating popsicles in the snow!

But alas, our frigid, wintry weather finally arrived.  The kind of cold that cuts right through your pants, and makes you cringe when the kids peel off their essential layers once they step foot on the playground.  The good news?  The weather inspired me to make one of my favorites--Bean and Bacon Soup.

This recipe came from an old issue of Real Simple from 2005--gasp!  Back from the days before having three kids, and keeping a relatively well-organized recipe binder.  It takes very little prep time, guarantees to warm the belly on these chilly days, and is naturally free of the top 8.  Good enough for a meal paired with a warm baguette.  Mmmm...

Don't let the bacon scare you.  You can sub with turkey bacon, tofu, or leave it out and add the broth of your choice instead of water.  I pile in the veggies--I just add as much as I want.  You can decrease the water a bit in anticipation of the water boiling out of all those veggies.  I made a double recipe so I could bring some for a friend. 

Bean and Bacon Soup

Bean & 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 1/2-ounce cans great Northern beans, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large pot or saucepan, fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Let cool, chop, and set aside.

2. Over medium heat, add the carrot to the pan drippings in the pot and saute for 5 minutes.  Add celery, onion, and garlic, stirring well and cooking for 3 minutes more.

Chop your veggies while your bacon is cooking

3. Add the beans and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.

You may sub lima, cannellini, or borlotti beans for the great Northern beans
4.  Uncover and, with a potato masher or large slotted spoon, partially mash the bean mixture until it thickens slightly.

5.  Stir in the cilantro, salt, pepper, and bacon.  Serve hot.

Try these other allergy-friendly hearty soups, sure to satisfy when the weather is cold:

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
Corn and Chickpea Chowder

1 comment:

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