I have (yet another) fall soup for y'all to try.
I know, I know, enough with the dang soups/stews already. My apologies. Well actually, sorry, I'm not sorry. They are good. And they are fallish. So there.
I came across a recipe on Pinterest. Sidenote: Don't you LOVE that site? I mean, yes, it makes us all feel like utter Martha failures but really, for recipes it's just so fabulous. Forget that I can't gather my own straw to make an A-level wreath or have thirty minutes to create an intricate trendy hair braid or birthed children who will sit long enough to make the Taj Mahal out of beads, or have the energy to kill my body at a gym then post fabulous photos of my abs (because I have rock hard abs...umm, three children later. Ha.). Ain't nobody got time for that!
It's funny how the internet has the ability to make you feel like an utter failure. But that's another post for another day. Another sidenote: Did you know Facebook was created for college boys to compare women? I read that somewhere. And now, really, it's just women doing the comparing...to each other. On Facebook. Isn't it ironic?
Don't you think?
But let me tell you, my sweet friends, this little blog is not meant to make anyone feel incapable...it IS meant to encourage. If I can learn how to cook and bake, anybody can. Trust me, I'm no Martha. But I could probably play a darn good one on TV. Or the internet. Or Pinterest. Easy to pretend when nobody can see the real life version. Y'all are welcome to come see my real life anytime...it's a crazy one! It would make Martha run for the woods...or her garden, wherever she goes in her not-so-spare time.
Ha. Okay, wow- so off subject. [Reeeeeling it back in].
Here we go. I found this recipe on Pinterest and everything about it sounded just so great. Bacon. White beans. Creamy. Mmm. Until I actually looked at the recipe and realized- there's no cream in there (gasp). You cannot have a "creamy" soup without cream. I mean, really. Don't fake people out, sister. But the rest of it sounded great. So I took the thing and changed it up a bit.
And here you go,
Creamy Tomato Bacon White Bean Soup
2 cups your choice dried white beans (I used cannellini)
5 strips bacon, cut into little pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1.5 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2/3 cup tomato sauce (or marinara)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1.5 cups frozen chopped kale or spinach (optional)
1. Soak your beans overnight covered in water. Drain the next morning or whenever you are ready to cook. OR if you forget to do that, just cover the beans with water, bring to a boil, boil rapidly for about 5min, then drain. Easy.
2. In a large stockpot, fry up your bacon pieces. Once cooked, scoop with a slotted spoon on some paper towels to drain...but KEEP the bacon grease in the pan. If you have a ton of grease in the pan, drain off all but 4 Tbsp.
3. Saute onion and carrots in the grease until tender, about 5min. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf, stir, cooking only a minute or so. Add bacon back into the pot.
4. Gently pour in the chicken stock and drained beans. Whisk in the tomato paste until incorporated and add tomato sauce and kale or spinach (optional but I like a little greenery). Bring the pot to a boil, then partially cover and turn back down to simmer. Add cream.
5. Let the soup simmer on low for about 40min, stirring occasonally. Be careful not to let it boil (cream will curdle). Salt and pepper to taste.
6. This step is optional but I ladled about 3-4cups of the soup into a blender and blended it up a bit (if you do this, take out the cap on the blender top- you need to let a bit of the steam escape while blending or that thing will explode and...ouch, just don't), then dumped it back in the pot. This makes it a bit thicker but still keeps some of the chunky-ness of it. I like a good chunky, thick soup. Feel free to omit this part or use an immersion blender if you have one. I don't. I'm not that cool.
6. Serve up with your choice cheese on top (I love a good Parmesan) and some hearty bread for dipping.
See, aren't soups just so fall-like? I'm of the camp that if it has bacon (and cream, hello?!) it can't be a bad thing. Ever.
And, as always, give me a heads up if you come across a fabulous recipe.