February 25, 2015

onion, bean & bacon soup

We love soup. And I love love love when we have soup weather. Do y’all know what I’m talking about? Cold and blustery. Maybe drizzly outside. A greyish-bluish, Wintry-ish sky. Gosh, I love it. But I can wear out soup. The ones I make, I love. And my family loves. But I’ve been set on finding and developing new soup recipes for my family this year. My husband has had a 10-year-long guttural gag reaction to Taco Soup. I wore him out on it in the late 90s. That’s on me.

However, I revamped Taco Soup last year in an effort to make him return to it….and he liked it. Get the recipe HERE for Fancied Taco Soup. It’s good stuff. And it’s pretty. Lots of color!

So here’s a new hearty and rich soup recipe that I've made a few times for us that we love! Onion, bean, and bacon soup combines some of my absolute favorite flavors – caramelized onions, smoky bacon, rich beef stock, creamy cannellini beans, toasted bread and broiled cheese. What’s not to love??! And this soup is easy. It might take 45 minutes if you spend time looking at your phone or moving laundry over. But it will likely take less time than that!

I feel like I should let you know that this soup looked and smelled so fabulous after broiling it in the oven that, in my impatience, I took a bite and burned my tongue and down my throat. For a almost two weeks my tongue didn't feel right. So be patient, as hard as it is. And know that this onion, bean and bacon soup is just that enticing.

{serves 4-6}

2 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly
8 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
1/4 cup flour + 3 tablespoons flour
1 32oz carton beef stock
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
4-5 rings jarred jalapenos, chopped
2 cans white cannellini beans, drained a little
French baguette, sliced into rounds
Slices of provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 400.
In a 3-3.5qt heavy bottomed pot, saute bacon pieces until almost crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel-lined pan. In the same pot, saute sliced onions in the bacon fat until they are tender and have color. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over the onions in the pot; cook and stir for about a minute to get the raw flour taste cooked out. Pour the carton of beef stock over the floured onions and stir. Add salt, ginger, cayenne, white pepper, jalapenos, and beans. Stir until combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Ladle out 1/2 cup warm stock and whisk in 1/4 cup of flour to make a thick liquidy paste. Then stir that mixture back into the pot of soup which will allow the stock to thicken a little.

While soup simmers, lay baguette rounds on a sheetpan and brush with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper the bread. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until they get crisp and golden. Remove from oven.

Taste soup and season as needed. Then ladle soup into oven-safe bowls, top with 2-3 toasted bread rounds, and lay a slice of provolone over the top of the bowl, covering the bread rounds. Place the bowls on a sheetpan and put the sheetpan in the oven under broil for a minute or so - do not take your eyes off of the oven when broiling!

Carefully remove the sheetpan of broiled soup bowls from the oven and top with crispy bacon and sliced jalapenos or chopped parsley. Maybe dollop a little sour cream on top if you're feeling it!