White Bean Soup with Bacon, Thyme and Rosemary

6 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp thyme, chopped (fresh is best, use less if dry)
2 tsp rosemary, chopped (again fresh is best, use less if dry)
2-14.5 oz cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
8-10 cups chicken broth or stock (or veggie)

In a large soup pot, cook the bacon on medium heat until crisp and then remove to a plate with a paper towel to remove the grease. Leave the grease in the pot and if needed, add the olive oil (I didn’t need it), then add the onion, carrot and celery to the pot. Cook over medium heat until softened, maybe 8 minutes and then add the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary. Cook a few more minutes and add the drained beans and broth (or stock).

Simmer over low/medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. As most soups go, you can make this ahead of the meal time and allow it to simmer-it’s even better the second day. Remove the bay leaf, add salt and pepper. I took my hand blender at this point and made the soup thicker but that is not necessary. You can also remove some of the beans and pulse them in a blender or food processor to thicken. When you serve, add the bacon to top it off. This soup was great with crusty bread to soak up the broth-y goodness. It’s pretty low calorie and healthy, making it a recipe I will make time and again.