Monday, July 11, 2011

Bean and Bacon Soup Revisited

When I made my first bean and bacon soup I had no idea how long it took to make a bean tender and had no idea I was hampering the process by adding salt and tomato to the beans at the front end of the process. I corrected that with this recipe and will compare both before making the next batch. I admit that I love the look of the cooked bacon in the photos of the first recipe and the texture too, so my plan is to always add crisped bacon for plating.



1 pkg white Navy beans
1 large yellow onion
2T extra virgin olive oil 
8 small cloves of garlic
1/4C diced bacon
1T tomato paste
1/2t smoked paprika
1/4t powdered bay leaves
1T dried and crushed thyme



The first half of this recipe is devoted to cooking the beans properly. After soaking overnight and rinsing, they should be cooked in water without salt. I use 2” of water above the beans as a rule of thumb on all my soups. If it’s not enough I can always add more. The object is to cook the beans until tender. While the beans are cooking over a medium heat you can saute the onions in the olive oil and add the crushed thyme and powdered bay leaves. You should also add the bacon until it renders it’s fat, then take the pan off the heat until the beans are almost done.


When the beans are fully cooked, turn the heat to a simmer and go back to the pan with the onions and bacon. Add the tomato paste and cook it in a hot spot to caramelize the paste for greater depth of flavor. Add the smoked paprika and fold everything together. Open another hot spot on the pan and saute the garlic for a few minutes. This recipe could easily be adjusted to vegetarian version by eliminating the bacon. The smoked paprika will sub for the bacon in terms of flavor.


Add the onion and bacon mixture into the soup pot and stir. Simmer for ten minutes and your soup is ready. just like Campbell’s Soup, it’s “mmm mmm good”. Since Campbell’s Bean and Bacon soup was my canned soup of choice as a child, this is my homage to an old favorite.


No comments: