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Bean and Bacon Soup

This filling and tasty soup may be served at an informal lunch or dinner. It also makes a good main course, served with French bread, for a family lunch.

12 oz. dried butter beans

2 lb. bacon hock with bone

1 large onion, cut in quarters

1 large garlic clove, crushed

3½ pints water bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray, and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 teaspoon white pepper

20 large black olives, cut in half

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Put the beans in a bowl and cover with water. Leave them to soak overnight.

Drain the beans and put them in a large saucepan with the bacon, onion and garlic. Cover with the water, place the pan on high heat and bring to the boil.

Add the bouquet garni and pepper to the pan and stir well. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for 1+ to 2 hours, or until the beans and bacon are cooked.

Remove the bacon hock and cut the meat into pieces. Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Puree some of the Bacon, beans and olives combine to make this tasty Bean and Bacon Soup that may be served as a one-dish meal. beans, using a fork or an electric blender and add to the soup to thicken it. Stir in the bacon pieces and olives. Taste and add salt and more pepper, if necessary.

Pour the soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.

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