Monday, February 7, 2011

White Bean Soup

A staple in my house is this white bean soup. It is extremely versatile and forgiving... and did I mention delicious? Freeze leftovers for another time.

Ingredients:

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 (or onion of choice)
1 large carrot, finely diced
2  celery ribs, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1  fresh bay leaf
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1 pound Great Northern beans, soaked overnight with 1 tablespoon of Soda, rinsed then drained
10 cups chicken stock
Salt  and freshly ground pepper
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Directions:
1. In a large pressure cooker, cook  the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. (Save some bacon for garnish)

2. Heat the olive oil in the soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and vegetables.

3.     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, put on the lid, put on the pressure regulator.

4.     Bring to a boil, adjust temperature so that the pressure regulator is constantly rocking gently back and forth. Once rocking continuously, time for 30 minutes. Turn off flame and let pot cool on it’s own.

5.     After pressure has been completely reduced, (check your guide) remove the pressure regulator. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the remaining thyme and rosemary. (You may want cream of bean soup..put some in a blender and blend until smooth and return to pot, or pour into bowls.)

6.      Season the soup with salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls. Garnish the soup with the bacon and serve.

You may have to play with the time because of the type of beans you are using. Adjust accordingly.

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