I know what you’re thinking. “Bean Soup? Really…?” Well, yes. It sounded slightly more appealing to my ears than Lima Bean Soup. And also I added that bacon in there to make it seem more enticing.
But really. This is a hearty, comforting, and delicious soup for the coldest of days. The ingredients cost pretty much nothing, and it makes a lot. My roommate, Erin, is disgusted by all things “mushy” (beans) and I forced her into trying this. If she liked it (she did) I swear, anyone will like it. Trust me.
By the way, if you have never made beans that are not from a can (I hadn’t until a year ago) it is super easy, cost effective, and the results taste more fresh.
White Bean Soup with Bacon
Adapted from About Southern Food
1 cup dried Lima Beans (or other large white bean)
4 cups Water
3 slices Bacon, chopped
1 cup Onion, minced
2 stalks Celery, sliced thin
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thin
3 cloves Garlic, minced
4 cups Chicken Stock *
1 Bay Leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, fresh grated
1. Soak the beans in 4 cups of water in a large stockpot overnight or for 8 hours. Rinse thoroughly, set aside.
2. In a large stockpot, cook chopped bacon over medium-low heat until slightly crispy. Remove bacon, leaving fat in pot, and set aside.
3. Increase the heat to medium and add onion, garlic, celery, and carrot to the bacon fat. Saute for 5-10 minutes, until tender and lightly golden. Add the beans, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until beans are soft and tender.
4. Take 1/2 cup of the soup and puree in food processor or blender, then return to pot. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add in bacon and stir.
5. Serve garnished with parmesan cheese and with a crusty, multigrain bread.
* I use Better Than Bouillon, which is a sort of paste that is mixed with hot water to make a broth. I bought it at Costco and have had it for a year and make soups pretty much every week. In my opinion, so much better than having to buy/make a bunch of stock all the time.