Friday, October 16, 2009

Soup Success!

Yesterday I used my crock-pot for something other than chili! More soup :) Three bean and Tomato, to go with grilled cheese for dinner with my Dad. I had to be mindful of the salt content due to his dietary needs and I feel I was rather successful despite the bacon.

The soup turned out really well. I was extremely pleased with the taste and consistency, smooth and creamy and just a little rustic. I served it with shredded cheddar cheese stirred in, as opposed to my original idea of having grilled cheese sandwiches on the side, due to timing issues. My Dad liked it a lot, and I think I will continue to make this soup for myself, instead of the store bought tomato soups which I find have way too much salt in them.

Three Bean Tomato Soup

1 cup Bacon, chopped into little bits
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
3 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, no salt added
3 15 oz cans of different beans (I used white beans, pink beans, and a variegated beans.)
2 cups (approx) chix stock.

Start in a sauté pan and finish in crock pot, or make in a heavy bottomed pot:
Render the bacon until nice and crispy. Pull out crispy bits and set aside on a paper towel. If there is an excess amount of grease left, pour off, leaving 1 -2 Tbsp to cook the onions in, until translucent. Toss in the garlic and let them heat through a moment. (* for a healthier and/or vegetarian version, you could probably start the onions in EVOO instead)
(At this point I moved the onions to the crock pot.)
Open, drain, and rinse well your choice of beans then throw 'em in the pot, along with the three cans of tomatoes. Pour in the chicken stock (or veggie) a few turns around, enough to cover the contents by an inch or so. I used half a box (or close to it) of stock.
Simmer away, on a low setting, for as long as you like. (my soup ended up simmering a good 10 hours.)
Just before serving remove about half of the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add back into the pot and stir. The soup should be smooth and creamy thanks to the beans, but still rustic with some tomato bits and beans :)
Garnish with some of the reserved bacon bits and some shredded cheddar cheese (or Colby Jack)

P.S. The leftovers are phenomenal. I was going to dress up a bowl and take pictures but I ate it all instead!

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