Don’t you love happy accidents?
I threw this soup together when I was snowed in, Mother Hubbard’s cupboards were bare because I couldn’t get to the store, and I had no idea what to do for dinner. Desperately, I opened the veggie drawer and found a couple of carrots, a stub of zucchini I had used for a recipe earlier, celery that was starting to get bendy, and a few strips of bacon leftover from yesterday’s breakfast. And I always have dried beans and fresh herbs (from the AeroGarden) so we were in business.
Now, I make this snowed-in bean soup all the time. We love it. Especially the two-year old! So, let’s get to it. I’m going to give you the recipe for a bigger batch than I made the first time, because it freezes beautifully.
What you need:
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped (uncured is best, but use what you have)
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1c (1 med or 1/2 large) onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1c carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 4c chicken broth or stock
- 3c cooked or 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 zucchini, cut into 1 in. pieces
- handful of fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- salt and pepper
1. In your big soup pot, saute the bacon in the olive oil until some of the fat renders out. You don’t have to let it crisp up. Just get it going.
2. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook until onions start to look transparent. Watch your heat here – you don’t want to brown anything.
3. Add the beans, stock or broth, and bay leaves. Add water to cover, if it’s too chunky for you. Simmer 15 min.
4. Add zucchini. Simmer another 10 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat, and toss in the basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Warm your soul with a bowl of this white bean soup, served with a big hunk of crusty bread. Aaaaaahhhh.
Vegan? Skip the bacon, and swap out vegetable broth for the chicken broth or stock.