White Bean Soup with Bacon & Herbs

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. πŸ™‚ 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? πŸ˜‰

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon each of the chopped thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the remaining thyme and rosemary.
  6. 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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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

19 responses to “White Bean Soup with Bacon & Herbs

  1. Looks hearty and delicious! πŸ™‚

  2. Oh YAY, another one of your soups! I bet the fresh herbs made it outstanding (along with the bacon, of course)!

  3. Looks delicious, Josette! Wish there was a bowl in front of me to combat my rainy Sunday. Do you think the veggies could be sautΓ©ed in the bacon fat (or half fat, half oil) instead? I’m thinking it would add a nice smoky flavor??

    • Ugh. I’m in the middle of freezing & rainy Monday. 😦 I think that I did contemplate doing exactly that but was worried it might be too greasy. A considerable amount of bacon fat is added back in at the end too… BUT, now that you are re-visiting the idea, I think the 1/2 and 1/2 would work! There would still be plenty of bacon fat to add back into the pot at the end. πŸ™‚

  4. Wonderful! I was surprised because I was expecting a white soup! But it’s not purΓ©ed. Way more interesting this way!

  5. Lovely, enjoying some soups too before the warmer weather is here in full force – will add this to my list πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Loretta. It was getting warm around here- I was LOVING it- but was worried that I had to post my cozy meals ASAP. Well, I shouldn’t have worried. We’re back to the crazy March weather and I’m freezing today!

  6. Whether prepared in a casserole dish or stock pot, beans and bacon belong together. I bet this soup tastes wonderful. πŸ™‚

  7. This looks delish! Perfect for a cool spring day. Funny about your husband; my son is the same way…he balks at soup and I finally got him to tell me why, when he’ll eat chowders just fine. He just pantomimed a fussy eater holding the spoon out with his little finger extended and said “Soup is too much work to eat.” lol – he’s got a point…

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