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Bean and Bacon Soup

1 lb navy beans
6 cups water -- or stock
1/2 lb turkey bacon
3 sm carrots -- sliced
4 stalks celery -- chopped, w/tops
1 med sweet onions -- chopped
3 med potatoes -- chopped
16 ozs stewed tomatoes -- chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper -- to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley -- finely chopped

Rinse and sort through beans. Remove any bad ones, or any stones. Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let stand overnight. Drain. Rinse.

Put beans in slow cooker with 6 cups of fresh water or stock. Place on high. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and crumble. Set aside for garnish. Add onions and celery to bacon grease and saute for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and heat through. Add to the beans in the pot. Add remaining veggies and seasonings, except parsley, salt and pepper. Cover slow cooker. When soup comes to the boil, turn slow cooker down to low and cook for 8-10 hours or till beans are tender. Season.

Remove bay leaf. Put 2 cups soup in blender and puree. Stir into remaining soup together with parsley. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Serve with some crumbled bacon.

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