Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bean and Bacon Soup

Sometimes there are happy accidents.  I had planned to make ham and bean soup with a ham bone I have been storing in the freezer.  I soaked my beans and started simmering them when I went to the freezer and found the "ham bone" was actually some turkey in disguise. Sigh.  So, we've heard of bean and bacon soup, but I've never made it before! This attempt was good, and enough so that I jotted the recipe down for future soups.  I share it here.

Bean and Bacon Soup
3 cups dried beans
Cover beans with 1 1/2 quarts of water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 min., remove from heat, cover and soak for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse beans and place in a big soup pot. (You can also cover beans with cold water and let them soak overnight.)

Add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, chop
1 (12 oz) package bacon
1 onion
In a skillet over medium high heat, cook together, adding 2 cloves garlic, minced.  Brown well.
Add bacon mixture to beans with
2 bay leaves
Simmer 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer until tender. You may have to keep adding water to the pot as it cooks to maintain the soup consistency. If you like, you can mash or puree part of the soup and add it back to the pot to make a thick soup.
Note: though I have not tried it yet, I think after adding the bacon and bay leaves, this could go in the crock pot to finish cooking.  The type of bean will determine the cooking time.  If you have a bean like Anasazi that softens easily, reduce cooking time accordingly.
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