By posting this Navy Bean with Bacon Soup during the middle of a holiday weekend I must be hoping nobody will see it. I understand it might appear a bit odd but bear with me. Am I seriously suggesting a big hearty bowl of bean with bacon soup a the perfect way to commemorate a Memorial Day weekend?
Who wants to sit down to a big bowl of Navy Bean with Bacon soup while everyone else is grilling hamburgers and having picnics? Who in their right mind would be having navy bean with bacon soup to celebrate the beginning of summer?
Me. That’s who. I’ve never been accused of having a right mind anyway. I’ll explain:
Navy Bean with Bacon Soup made perfect sense to me yesterday when I started this project. I discovered a big Mason jar full of navy beans in the pantry during a reorg project. Three day weekends always seem to inspire the pantry reorganizer in me and when I find these ingredients left over from old projects the idea for my celebration just clicked. Navy Bean with Bacon to celebrate Memorial Day!
1) Memorial Day is about remembering those who gave their lives to protect our country while serving in The United States Armed Forces.
2) The US Navy is one of the branches that make up our armed services.
3) This soup is made with navy beans.
See what I did there?
Welcome to my brain.
This same brain latched onto the slow cooker as a particularly convenient holiday-weekend inspired idea. I really wanted to celebrate memorial day with a good bowl of navy bean with bacon soup but I also wanted to go outside and play with everyone else.
Slow Cooker Navy Bean with Bacon Soup
Until now my slow cooker has only made the acquaintance of a certain Tuscan White Bean Chili that I make every year and as the weekly key-player in making tons of chicken stock from the many chicken carcasses that litter our weekly kitchen-scape each week.
Its about time it learned a new trick so I asked it to jump in and do all the work for me so I could go outside and play all day.
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
This is what you will need:
- 1 pound dried navy beans. (About 2 1/4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
- 3 medium onions, finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 sprig rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated Parmesan cheese for serving
This is how you make it:
- Rinse the beans well (especially if they have been in the pantry as long as mine have!) and pick through them to get out the grody bits and then soak them in a bowl overnight. When ready to use, drain them.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the bacon and cook until just lightly crispy, about ten minutes. Remove a small handful of the bacon and set aside to use as a topping later. (Optional.) Add the garlic and onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until all the onions have softened and have turned a nice golden brown. This should take anywhere from 10 to fifteen minutes.
- Transfer the onion-bacon mixture to the slow cooker. Add the water, chicken stock, beans, bay leaves, and pepper flakes and mix until combined. Over the crock pot and cook on low for about eight or nine hours or until the beans are softened through. The timing for this is really just to your own preferences for soup texture.
- Go outside and play all day.
- When the soup is to your liking add the rosemary sprig and cover. Let soup cook for 15 minutes to flavor and the remove the sprig and bay leaves. Check the seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.