My husband usually rejects any soup suggestion unless it has a stew-like consistency. I think I convinced him that this brothy soup would be great because of the bacon. 🙂 By the way, of course, he enjoyed it!
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Jose Garces. It is based upon a Spanish white bean soup called caldo gallego. I doubled the garlic, used a dried bay leaf, and incorporated homemade turkey stock. The turkey stock made the soup much richer in color and more full-flavored. The fresh herbs brought freshness and color to the finished dish. and… Who doesn’t like crispy bacon sprinkled over the top of their soup? 😉
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
- 1 1/4 pounds thick-sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely diced
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 pound Great Northern beans, soaked overnight and drained
- 10 cups chicken stock (I incorporated 4 cups homemade turkey stock)
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving the fat and bacon separately.
- 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 drained beans, stock and 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup over moderately low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Discard the bay leaf and stir in the remaining thyme and rosemary.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls. Garnish the soup with the bacon and serve.
Note: The soup and bacon can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days. Recrisp the bacon before serving.
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