Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bean Soup with Garlic Italian Bread

6 slices Italian Garlic bread (toasted) Freezer brand is fine to use
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
5 slices bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onions
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley
 Salt (optional) and black pepper
 2 cans white beans  (15.8 oz.)
 6 cups chicken stock  (My Favorite is Rachel Ray)  But you use whatever you like
 Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake Garlic bread according to directions. Cool and cut into 1 ½ “ pieces.

 Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, add bacon cooking until nice and crispy, once cooked remove bacon and  add onions, celery and carrots and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5-8 minutes.

Add tomato paste, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 3 minutes, add beans and stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer and cook for 35 minutes.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Garlic Toast pieces to a Dutch oven or a large deep ovenproof baking dish. Pour soup over bread and bake 30 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese.  (You can also add toast to a slow cooker, and pour soup over it and let cook low for 30 minutes.)

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