The Eclectic Quill

Website of Joshua McGee


White Bean Soup with Bacon and White Ale

I've been sick and wanted to make some comfort food.  I came up with the following recipe, and it turned out really nicely.  I'm posting it here for anyone else who might be looking for a hearty, flavorful, comforting soup.


White Bean Soup with Bacon and White Ale

  • 1 1/2 lbs (two 12-oz bags) dry Great Northern beans
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed
  • 4 tsp dried Italian herb mixture
  • 2 large ham hocks, scored
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • 2 12-oz bottles white ale
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup diced crimini (baby Portobello) mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Sort and rinse beans.  Soak overnight in ample water.  Drain, rinse thoroughly, and set aside.

Coat bottom of heavy stockpot with vegetable oil.  Sauté bacon until almost crispy.  Remove bacon from fat and set aside to cool.  Add shallots, celery, and herbs and sauté for five minutes, being sure to deglaze pot.  Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.  Add ham hocks, stock, ale, and water.  Chop bacon coarsely and add to pot.  Bring to a boil uncovered.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 90 minutes.

Add drained beans and simmer for an hour.  Add mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and simmer until beans are tender (about 45 minutes).  Remove ham hocks.  Ladle into bowls and serve topped with chopped parsley.

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