From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We had some sun today and it made for a beautiful afternoon at the lake. We did lots of walking before the winds and rain returned, forcing us to back to the cabin to ready it and ourselves for an early departure tomorrow morning. Power has finally been restored, and tonight I can see lights in the houses on the other side of the lake. It seems strange, but not as strange as the odd silver glow the cabin lights throw on the road just outside the door. Even the loons are confused. Dinner tonight was a hydrate and reheat affair, so prep and clean-up was a breeze. As the frozen soup I'd brought from home warmed on top the stove, I added water and an egg to my homemade cornbread mix and popped a pan of it into the oven. It finished baking just as the soup came to a boil. Now that's serendipity. It is a nice soup and it made for a lovely, if simple supper. Years ago, I found the recipe I used to make it in an issue of Cooking Light magazine, and I have made it several times a year ever since. What would have seemed a skimpy meal back home was perfect for the cabin and the less is more circumstances we find here and gladly adopt. I want to share the recipe with those of you who are still battling winter's chill and need warming meals to serve your families as they come in from work or play. Do give this recipe a try. The soup is easy to make and it's near failproof. The only variable might be the amount of time it takes to cook the beans. Mine are never ready in an hour and time from start to completion can vary from 1-1/2 to 2 hours. This freezes beautifully, so I double the recipe whenever I make the soup. Here is the recipe as it appeared in Cooking Light.
White-Bean Soup with Peppers and Bacon...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cooking Light magazine
1-1/2 cups dried navy beans
5 bacon slices
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1) Sort and wash beans and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover pot and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans.
2) Cook bacon in pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble and set aside. Add bell pepper, onions, carrots, sugar, onion and garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper and minced garlic to bacon drippings. Saute vegetables for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in broth, add beans and bring to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are tender.
3) Place 3 cups of bean mixture in a blender, and process until smooth. Return pureéd mixture to pan. Stir in bacon and parsley and serve. Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings.
Note: This soup will freeze well for up to two months. Pour into an airtight container, leaving enough room for expansion (usually an inch or two at the top). To reheat, thaw completely in the refrigerator; then place contents in a saucepan over low heat, adding some liquid if necessary.
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