OK, I'm sensing that the majority of you didn't groove on my pureed, strained green beans post from this past weekend. My grandmotherly instincts took over and I blogged about baby food. I've sunk to a new low, haven't I?
I'm back with a grown up recipe (it even includes wine!) but.... it's still pureed. Are you going to abandon me again or accept that a pureed soup can be a wonderful thing. You see, we grown ups are allowed to add salt, and herbs and wine and all the other goodies that infants can't have, so even though this still may appear to look like baby food, it's not. And when you top it with God's greatest gift since the forbidden apple (bacon!) you end up with a very tasty soup.
Now, I do realize that I shouldn't be posting soup recipes until the weather cools off, but darn it, I miss my soups! I love making them and I love eating them. So if you bear with me for posting a soup recipe this side of Labor Day, I won't report you for wearing white on the other side of Labor Day. Deal?
Make note that I added tomato paste to this recipe as written,but when I made it I used a weak tomato puree leftover from making my tomato sauce last week. My tomatoes were particularly juicy and I hated to waste the tomato water I filtered out of my puree, so I froze it.
Yeah, I save half-used kleenex and twice-used baggies too. However, I do promise you that I stop short of saving my clothes dryer lint for stuffing pillows. One can only be so frugal before it borders on neurotic.... nuff said.
Creamy White Bean Soup
6 slices center cut bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, including leaves, diced
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
4 cups chicken broth
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium potato, peeled, small cubed
In large soup pot fry bacon pieces over medium low heat until crisp. Center cut bacon has less fat to render than regular bacon, so you'll want to fry it low and slow. Remove bacon pieces from pot to drain on paper towels. Set bacon aside to use as garnish You should now have about a tablespoon of bacon drippings left in pot.
Add the onion, carrot and celery to pot. Season with pepper and crushed red pepper flakes and saute until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes. I typically season these veggies with salt as well as pepper while they saute, but the bacon grease is usually salty enough. You can add salt later if needed.
Add the minced garlic, tomato paste, thyme and sage and saute for another minute or two. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the chicken broth, potato and cannellini beans.
Bring to a boil, reduced heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are completely cooked. Check to see if soup needs additional salt. Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and puree. Return puree to soup pot and reheat.
Served topped with a generous (and I do mean generous) amount of bacon crumbles and freshly ground black pepper.
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