How to cook Healthy Soup Bacon Bean Soup?
First and foremost, this soup is rich and creamy without an ounce of cream. Natural starches make the simple herbaceous broth a velvety, substantial backdrop to beans and vegetables that account for enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals to fuel your day. Folate is a water-soluble nutrient that’s extremely important for the prevention of neural tube defects, and for blood production and rapid cell growth. One serving of this soup packs close to half of the 600 mcg of folate recommended per day for pregnant women. Crunchy bacon confetti tops off thick, hot bowlfuls that are already redolent with its smoky trademark charm.
Beans are complex carbohydrates and low on the glycemic index, making them ideal for people (and pregnant women!) looking to manage their blood sugar. They’re a source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals such as folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
- Makes about 6 servings
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, sliced into ¼-inch/0.6 cm pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced small (about 1½ cups/173 g)
- 1 large carrot, diced small (about ½ cup/65 g)
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced small (about 1 cup/101 g)
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced small (about 3 cups/227 g)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 (15-ounce/425 g) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed, or 6 cups cooked beans (16
- ounces/453 g dried) (great Northern or cannellini beans can be substituted)
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large sage leaves, very thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from about 6 sprigs), chopped
- 6 cups/1.4 L chicken stock
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, stirring often with a wooden spoon, 7 to 10 minutes. Lift the bacon out with a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pot, and scatter it across a paper towel in one layer. Set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot and sweat the vegetables for 5 minutes, to get them on their way to softening and to draw out their natural sugars a bit. Add the potato and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Dump the beans into the pot along with the salt, pepper, sage, thyme, stock, and 1 cup/237 ml water. Stir everything together and bring the liquid to a boil, which will take about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the soup, with the pot partially covered, for 1½ hours, or until the vegetables are completely tender and the stock has thickened from the starches of the beans and potatoes.
- Enjoy the soup as is, after a good, long simmer, or you can purée it a little to make it thicker, like a chowder. Scoop about 2 cups/340 g into a blender and purée until smooth.
- Scrape the mixture back into the pot and stir to incorporate completely. Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, use it to buzz the veggies and beans into the stock for about 20 seconds, or just enough to bulk up the body of the soup to the thickness you prefer.
- Sprinkle some of the crisp bacon over each serving of soup.
- Refrigerate leftover soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. To reheat from frozen, either thaw overnight in the refrigerator or run warm water over the outside of the covered container until the frozen block of soup comes loose. Put the frozen block of soup in a pot with about ¼ cup/59 ml water, cover, and melt it over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to heat until warmed all the way through. Do not refreeze.
Calories 439 | Total fat 10 g (Saturated 4 g, Poly 1 g, Omega-3 0.36 g, DHA 0.00 g, EPA 0.00 g, Mono 1 g) | Cholesterol 19 mg | Protein 30 g | Sodium 1,149 mg | Carbohydrates 65 g | Fiber 21 g | Sugars 3 g | Vitamin A 105 mcg | Vitamin B6 0 mg | Vitamin B12 0 mcg | Vitamin C 10 mg | Vitamin D 0 IU | Choline 98 mg | Folate 266 mcg | Calcium 161 mg | Iron 5 mg