I had a lot of good homemade chicken stock in the fridge today so made a vat of delicious butterbean and bacon soup. All hot soup is comforting on a cold day, but I must say this one is especially hug-like. It’s also damn cheap to make, but because of the low-key ingredients I think it should be made slowly, and only with a really decent stock. While I’m a big fan of Swiss Bouillon, that simply would not cut it as a base for this simple, healthy soup.
Bacon and butterbean soup
9 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly into rounds
Oil & butter for frying
2-3 celery stalks (keep the leaves for later)
4-5 rashers smoked streaky bacon or a good handful of lardons
2 tins butterbeans
250g approx, cubed potato
Bouquet garni – I used rosemary and bay from the garden and some leftover parsley stalks
1 litre good quality chicken stock
Handful of finely chopped parsley and celery leaves
Heat the oil and butter in a deep casserole dish and fry off the finely chopped bacon until crisp.
Add the shallots and celery to the pan and cook well over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add the cubed potato to the casserole along with a generous amount of ground black pepper. Cook down for another 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently to prevent the potato from sticking to the base of the pan.
Bring the stock up to a boil in a separate pan while the bacon, potato, celery and shallots are cooking.
After about 25 minutes, add the stock and the bouquet garni. Strain and rinse the canned butterbeans and add about two thirds to the soup, saving about 150g for later.
Bring to a simmer and leave to cook for about 30-40 minutes until the potato is well cooked. You may want to spoon off any foam that gathers on the top as it cooks.
While the soup is bubbling away, puree the remaining butterbeans with a little olive oil using a hand blender.
When the soup is cooked, stir in the pureed beans to make a slightly thickened, creamy soup, then freshen the whole lot up with some finely chopped fresh herbs, I use a combination of parsley and celery leaves.
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About Chloe King
I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.
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