Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ham, Bacon and Bean Soup

 I had some left over ham and made this great bean soup.  I started with a recipe from - For the Love of Cooking and changed it up a bit.  The out come is a soup I will make again and again.  It's starts out with bacon, must I say more?

Serves 4-6


4 strips bacon
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced (I like to use a garlic press)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (15 1/2 oz) cans great Northern Beans, drained
4 cups chicken broth
2 cup diced baked ham 
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional-you can use dried if you have it)

1.  In a large saucepan, fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels. (leave about 1 Tablesppon of drippings in pan to saute vegetables).  Let cool, crumble, and set aside.
2  Over medium heat, add the carrot, celery and onion to the pan drippings and saute for 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic, stirring well and cooking for an additional minute.  Season with salt and pepper.
3.  In a small bowl, using a potato masher or fork mash one can of the beans and leave one can whole, set aside.
4.  Add 4 cups of chicken broth to pan.  Then add mashed beans and stir until it is incorporated and thickens the broth slightly.  Now add the can of whole beans, ham and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for 30 minutes, or until carrots and celery are tender.  Remove the bay leaf.  Stir in the parsley and bacon.
Serve hot.

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