DSC_3346I’m sorry to be posting so many soups lately, but it’s been darn cold on the ranch and soups seem to be the only coping mechanism I have. And oh…this soup! It is tremendously good—full of flavor, super satisfying, and it’ll remind you of the bean with bacon soup you ate as a little girl.

Or a little boy, depending on your personal experience.

Here’s how to make it!

 
DSC_3276First, if you can remember, and I don’t always remember because I’m an airhead, soak a pound of Great White Northern beans in cold water overnight. Soaking beans obviously causes them to absorb moisture and cuts down the cooking time considerably; it also helps the beans cook evenly and not split and freak out in the pan.

 
 
DSC_3278When you’re ready to cook the soup, drain off the water and throw the beans into a pot.

 
 
DSC_3280Add chicken broth…

 
 
DSC_3281And water. Turn on the stove and bring the soup to a boil.

 
 
DSC_3284While it’s heating up cut a package of thick-cut bacon into 1-inch pieces.

 
 
DSC_3287Throw them into a skillet over medium-high heat…

 
 
DSC_3291And cook them, stirring them around the pan…

 
 
DSC_3292Until they’re just barely starting to crisp.

 
 
DSC_3293When the soup is a-boilin’, dump 2/3 of the bacon into the pan, and save the other 1/3 for a garnish once the soup is done. Turn the heat down to a simmer and get the other ingredients going.

 
 
DSC_3299Grab carrots, celery, and an onion.

 
 
DSC_3300Cut the celery into a small dice…

 
 
DSC_3304Then peel and dice the carrots, too!

 
 
DSC_3310And do the same with zee onion.

 
 
DSC_3308Drain the bacon grease from the skillet, but don’t wash the pan! If you do, you will regret it for the rest of your life!

Sorry to be a drama queen, but this stuff is important.

 
 
DSC_3312Then add the veggies…

 
 
DSC_3314And stir them around the skillet, cooking them for a few minutes until they start to soften. Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper along the way.

 
 
DSC_3315Add some garlic…

 
 
DSC_3317And a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste…

 
 
DSC_3319And stir them around the pan, cooking the veggies with the paste for a few minutes.

 
 
DSC_3321Then—you guessed it—this craziness goes right into the soup!

 
 
DSC_3323Ahhh…the flavor. (And it smells so, so good.)

 
 
DSC_3326Drop in a couple of bay leaves…

 
 
DSC_3330Give everything one last stir, the put the lid on the pot and simmer the soup on low for a good hour and a half.

 
 
DSC_3335This is what it looks like. Gorgeous! (By they way, keep an eye on the soup as it cooks. This is about as low as you’d want the liquid level to drop. If you need to, add another cup or so of broth along the way.)

 
 
DSC_3337Serve it while it’s piping hot…

 
 
DSC_3340With extra bacon…

 
 
DSC_3342And a sprinkling of parsley!

 
 
DSC_3344Bliss. Absolute bliss. And it tastes exactly—I mean exactly—like the soup I remember eating as a child.

 
 
DSC_3353This will become a favorite in your rotation. Promise!

 
 
DSC_3356Oh, and here’s a little variation. Chop up a few Roma tomatoes…

 
 
DSC_3357And stir them into the finished soup right before serving.

 
 
DSC_3362Gives it a nice chunkiness and a little fresh tomato-ness.

“Tomato-ness?”

(I always love making up words on Monday morning.)

Here’s the handy dandy printable!

 

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