Bean and Bacon Soup

Dice the bacon, onion, carrots, and celery on a cutting board.

In a high-sided frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate leaving the bacon grease in the pan.

Add the onions, carrots, and celery to pan and cook about 5 minutes.

Add minced garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another minute.

Add chicken broth, water, beans, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, and half of bacon. Boil then reduce to simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 20 minutes.

Discard bay leaf and remove half of soup. Puree remaining soup using a hand-held immersion blender.

Stir unblended soup back into pan and add remaining bacon, reserving some for garnish.

Serve in large soup bowls and enjoy.

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