Vegetables are sauteed in bacon drippings and then pureed with canned white beans, chicken broth and seasonings in this soup which is garnished with crisp crumbled bacon and chopped parsley.
INGREDIENTS (for 5 servings):
- 5 slices bacon
- 3 onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, with liquid
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
In a large pot over medium high heat, saute the bacon until crisp. Drain the fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot. Crumble the bacon, reserving for later for garnish. Add the onions, carrots, red bell pepper, celery and garlic to the pot and saute in the bacon fat for 10 minutes.
Stir in the sugar, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaf, thyme and Worcestershire sauce. Now pour in just a small amount of chicken stock to deglaze the pan. (Note: This removes all of the caramelized particles from the bottom of the pan.)
Add the beans and the rest of the stock and continue to cook over medium high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
In a food processor or blender, puree 3 cups of soup at a time, adjusting seasoning if necessary. Return all pureed soup to the pot, stir in the parsley and crumbled bacon and simmer for 10 more minutes.