Sunday, February 23, 2014

Un-Frozen


I don't know what's up with my apartment, but right after dealing with the lack of heat, my stupid refrigerator died on me! And it's not the first time that this has happened! Of course it died the day after I made two new batches of soup to freeze for future snowstorms. What a waste of time and money and food! At least I got to sample (and photograph) my white bean soup before throwing it down the trash chute. Annoying!

I think the key to this recipe is cooking the base vegetables in bacon fat in order to infuse the soup with the essence of bacon. Then, if you wait to top each bowl with freshly cooked bacon right before serving, you can retain the crispy texture. Bacon!

Even though it has been strangely warm this weekend, I know that another snowstorm has to be lurking just around the corner. So while I am dreaming of enjoying a glass of rosé on a beach somewhere warm, I'll make another batch of soup in anticipation of a potential blizzard, with my fingers crossed that it won't actually happen. The blizzard of course, not the rosé!


White Bean with Bacon Soup
The Ski House Cookbook

5 strips thick-sliced bacon
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 medium shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini or other small white bean, drained
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Gratuitous bacon shot
1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels.

2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery and shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook the soup over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the beans begin to fall apart.

3. Discard the bay leaf and puree the soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to bowls. Crumble or chop the cooked bacon, garnish the soup and serve. Serves 4 - 6.

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