Mediterraneo's White Bean Soup
Makes about 4 quarts or 16 servings Ingredients:
- 2 lbs. dry white (Great Northern) beans
- 4 slices bacon (applewood smoked is available), chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 3-4 whole sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1-2 whole sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic or garlic puree
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- The night before, sort, rinse, and soak beans according to package directions. Or, rinse beans and place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat, cover, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 1 hour.
- After beans have soaked overnight or steeped for an hour, drain and reserve.
- Over medium heat in a large heavy pot, cook bacon until nearly brown. Add onion and cook until soft.
- Fold cheesecloth over to make an 8-inch square. Rinse thyme and rosemary and place in cheesecloth. Tie ends together with string or white thread.
- Add beans to onion mixture along with garlic, chicken stock, herb bundle, and any leaf. Simmer about 45 minutes or until beans are tender, but not overcooked. Discard herb bundle and bay leaf.
- In food processor or blender, puree half of the beans in small batches. Stir pureed beans back into soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.