Bean and Bacon Soup

It is -20 degrees out here in the Chicago Suburbs. In order to stay warm, I made my husband and I a delicious, stick-to-your-ribs type of soup for dinner last night. We ate it in front of the fire as we watched frost collect around the door frame leading to our patio. Since we have had these frigid temps for two days now, I would like to present you this tasty recipe of Bean and Bacon soup. It is inspired by America’s Test Kitchen and includes two types of beans; garbanzo and great northern! 

You’ll need: 

1/2 pound thick cut bacon, processed into a fine paste 

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 

1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped 

1 rib celery, chopped 

1 tablespoon anchovy paste 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

2 teaspoons dried Herbes de Provance 

1 can garbanzo beans, with liquid 

1 can great northern beans, with liquid 

2 cups chicken stock, boxed is fine 

1 cup orzo pasta 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Parmesan cheese for topping (optional) 

Extra Virgin olive oil for topping (optional) 

Begin with processing your bacon in your food processor. Pulse until most chunks are blended, then press your liquefy button and process until you have a fine paste. Add your onions, carrots, and celery into the processor until your veggies are chopped fine and integrated with the bacon. 

Pour your mixture into a stock pot and cook on medium heat until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Then add your anchovy and tomato pastes and cook until fragrant, then add your dried herbs. 

Stir in your cans of beans with the liquid. Combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon before adding the stock. bring to a low boil on medium heat. 

Add your orzo pasta and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the pasta sticking to the bottom. 

Once your pasta is done, spoon the soup into bowls. It should be very thick at this point. Drizzle some parmesan and EVOO over top.