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Bean & Bacon Soup

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There's nothing better on a chilly day than a big bowl of steaming soup. This bean and bacon soup is full of flavor and will leave your whole family wanting more. Serve this rich dish with a hearty chunk of bread, a lightly dressed side salad, or even a toasty, melty grilled cheese. This recipe is filled with the warm flavors or ground cloves, thyme, fresh garlic, and luscious bacon-y goodness.

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Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) package dried navy beans or Northern white beans
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 to 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon thyme

Details

Servings 8
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 45mins
Adapted from afeastfortheeyes.net

Preparation

Step 1

NOTE:
Unless you are using the "quick soak" method, the beans should be rinsed and soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight.

To "quick soak" beans, boil the beans in 9 cups of the water and then let sit for one hour. Drain and set aside. Or, if using a pressure cooker, cook for 3 minutes in salted water, and allow a natural release. Drain and rinse.

Cook the bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons of bacon fat. If using a pressure cooker, follow the same step. I use the brown cycle on my electric pressure cooker.

Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and celery to the reserved grease and saute until soft, do not drain. Add the thyme. Add the tomato paste; cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, black pepper, ground cloves, and bay leaf.

If using a dutch oven, simmer all the ingredients for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

If using a pressure cooker, lock the lid on and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes. Remove bay leave, and taste for seasoning. Adjust salt, to your own taste, sprinkle bacon in each bowl just before serving to preserve its crispness. Enjoy.

Freezes well.

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