Here is a white bean, bacon and spinach soup that looks entirely unassuming.
Like another run-of-the-mill soup. (This is what I thought.) I was wrong.
Stuffed inside is the most incredible, full-bodied flavor. I was immediately smitten. With the very first bite. And may have even done a little happy dance.
Between the smoky bacon, roasted garlic, creamy white beans, earthy spinach and bounty of aromatic vegetables it lacks for nothing. Except maybe a hunk of crusty bread, a sprinkle of fresh parmesan and a spoon. Yours.
Don’t let the two entire roasted garlic bulbs alarm you, it may sound like a lot if you haven’t tasted roasted garlic before. Don’t be put-off. Roasting garlic mellows its sharp bite leaving it soft, sweet and spreadable. It melts right into the broth where it disappears to work its magic.
This is one for the favorite list. Right where it belongs. Up near the top.
Cozy, rustic and immensely comforting.
Homemade soup doesn’t get better.
An unforgettable soup with smoky bacon, roasted garlic, creamy white beans, earthy spinach and a bounty of aromatic vegetables.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the end off of each garlic bulb so the bulbs are partially exposed. Place them in a small oven-safe baking dish or bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over each and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 35-45 minutes until cloves are completely soft and browned. Bake the bacon at the same time. Spread it out on in a large roasting pan and bake about 15 minutes or until crispy, remove and drain on paper towels. When garlic is cooked, remove and allow to cool until you can safely handle it. Squeeze the bulbs out into a bowl and smash them up with a fork.
- Meanwhile in a large soup pot heat a few tablespoons olive oil over medium -low heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often until vegetables start to soften.
- Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans and garlic puree. Chop 6 slices of the bacon and add that too. Bring up to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes, tasting often and seasoning as needed. Place 2 cups of the soup in blender or food processor and puree until smooth; add back to soup pot. Stir in spinach leaves. Simmer 5-10 more minutes. Remove parmesan cheese rinds.
- Serve with parmesan cheese and the remaining bacon slices crumbled over top.
Adapted from The Food Channel