White Bean & Bacon Soup
Hi, it’s Colleen and today I have a delicious new soup recipe for you to try!
Last week I met up with a few friends at the restaurant, Seasons 52. That place is always packed, and I know why… everything on the menu is under 500 calories, the offerings are creative & delicious, the atmosphere is comfortable, and the staff is attentive and friendly. For many people (myself included) that is a recipe for success!
I looked over the menu, asked what the soup of the day was, and when I heard White Bean Pesto Soup, I instantly knew I had to have it. All but one at our table followed suit, and we were happy we did! That soup was SO delicious, I knew then and there that I had to replicate it…immediately! So I did, and it was a complete home run!
As a matter of fact, I had a batch of this soup left in my fridge when the crazy ice storm hit my part of Pennsylvania last week…we lost power for 3 days. The first night all I could think about in our dark chilly house as we huddled by the fire, playing every board game known to man, was this soup – so I grabbed a cast iron skillet, filled it up with the White Bean Soup, plopped it into the coals of our super hot fire, stirred it a number of times while my hand roasted like a chicken…then sat back in the candle and flashlight-lit family room and sighed with delight!
This soup is so satisfying and delicious that it truly is a meal in itself. (Unless you are ravenous or feeding a troop of hungry boys/men…if so, throw in a loaf of crusty bread and a nice salad and you are set!)
The addition of bacon and a dollop of pesto swirled in bring this soup over the top! If you have to omit one, I say omit the pesto…after all any day that has the potential for bacon in it is a good day in my book! I hope you enjoy this soup!!
- ½ pound bacon, chopped
- 1 TBS olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 cup small-diced onion
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans (white beans), drained and rinsed
- a few pinches salt and pepper
- 1 TBS herbs (like basil or Italian seasoning)
- 2 dashes of Tabasco or a sprinkling of red pepper
- 32 (4 cups) ounces of chicken stock
- ¼ cup pesto
- In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat, cook the chopped bacon until crisp.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain it on a paper towel and place it in a small bowl for later use.
- Discard all but 1 TBS of the bacon fat. Add the olive oil and butter to the bacon fat and return the pot to the heat. Once melted, add your onions and carrots and allow them to cook till softened, stirring occasionally - about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir frequently for about 2 minutes.
- Add the beans, salt & pepper, seasoning(s) and stock. Stir well.
- Add Tabasco/red pepper and half of your reserved crispy bacon; simmer over med-low, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour.
- With 10 minutes left to go, use a spoon to mash about ¼ of the beans, which will make the soup a bit creamier. Reduce the heat to low until the soup is finished cooking. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust your seasoning.
- Let the soup sit for at least 10 minutes prior to serving. When ready to serve, ladle into small bowls, top with a dollop of pesto and some crispy bacon and enjoy! This soup is fabulous reheated as well.
I use Gourmet Garden's Italian Seasoning Tube for this recipe - but adding dried Italian herbs, basil or fresh parsley is fine.