Friday, February 9, 2007

Smoky Bean Soup

I made this soup out of Rachel Ray's "Comfort Foods" cookbook. The name in there is called, "Navy Bean and Bacon Soup," but I made enough changes to it that I feel I might rename it. As long as I give her credit, right?

Here is the recipe, as I made it (not as printed):

1 Tblesp. EVOO, natch
6 slices turkey bacon, chopped
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, largely diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
3 or 4 pinches cayenne pepper
3 cans Great Northern white beans, drained and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup smoky BBQ sauce
salt and pepper
oyster crackers, parmesan cheese, or a nice grilled cheese sammich

Sautee the bacon and veggies in a skillet, then add them to a crock pot. Add the beans and chicken broth, and BBQ sauce. Simmer for four hours until everything is tender. Remove the bay leaves. I also took an immersion blender and went through just for a moment, until it wasn't completey pureed -- just thickened and chunky. It reheats beautifully, and the flavors are smoky and complex. The turkey bacon worked really well in here, and I think added to the slow-cooked smokiness.

Honestly, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed ANY soup this much. I intended to make it as a "multiple portions to get us through the schoolweek" basic batch recipe, but it has shot straight near the top of my favorite recipes list! (That's a mental, hypothetical list -- but it's definitely up there.)