I usually like all the Pioneer Woman's recipes, but I had to change her bean and bacon soup recipe to appease my family's tastes. This is the delicious result!
Serves: 6

· 1 pound Navy beans
· 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock (1 lge. 32-oz. container) 
· 2 cups water
· 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces 
· 2 large carrots, chopped 
· 2 stalks celery, chopped 
· 1 onion, chopped 
· 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  · Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
· 1 tablespoon anchovy paste (optional)
· 2 large springs each fresh thyme and fresh prsley
· Light sprinkle each of nutmeg and cayenne

· Pick through the beans, then rinse and drain them. Put them in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Cover and soak overnight.

Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Add the chicken stock and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

To the bacon grease in the skillet, add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Season with some salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are just beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and anchovy paste and cook for another minute, stirring to combine.

Using a slotted spoon, add the vegetables and the reserved bacon to the beans. Add the thyme and parsley sprigs and give it a good stir. Simmer until the beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Taste to check if it needs any additional seasoning and serve hot.

Nutritional Analysis: Serving 1 cup Calories 220
SugaR 0 g; Total carbohydrates 35 g; Fat 7 g; Sodium 450 mg; Cholesterol 15 mg;
Protein 5 g; Fiber 15 g; Potassium 530 mg

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