Thursday, July 9, 2009

White bean and bacon soup with escarole

(From Martha Stewart)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces applewood-smoked slab bacon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 medium onions (about 6 ounces each), finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
1 pound dried white beans, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
3 large thyme sprigs
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head escarole, cut crosswise into strips

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

2. Add onions and shallot to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more.

3. Return bacon to pan. Stir in stock, beans, thyme, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover, and cook until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours more.

4. Stir in escarole. Cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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