White bean soup with candied vanilla bacon
Makes 2 hrs 30 mins, plus soaking | Serves 4 | prep 15 mins |
White bean soup with candied vanilla baconSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Makes 2 hrs 30 mins, plus soaking | Serves 4 | prep 15 mins
Nutritional information (per serving)
For the soup
- 300g dried white beans, such as haricot or cannellini, soaked in cold water for 24 hours
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- a pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 450ml fresh chicken stock
- 2 tbsp cream (optional)
For the candied vanilla bacon
- 1 vanilla pod
- 25g light soft brown sugar
- 1 x 220g pack Taste The Difference dry cured smoked streaky bacon
Soak the beans 24 hrs before cooking. The soup will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge and can be frozen. The candied bacon will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- For the soup, drain the soaked beans. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic, rosemary, chilli flakes and bay leaves and stir well. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent but not browned.
- Add the beans and 500ml cold water, bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the beans are very tender.
- Meanwhile, for the candied bacon, preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Slice open the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Using your fingertips, mix the seeds into the soft brown sugar in a bowl. Spread the vanilla sugar out on a baking tray or board. Lay one rasher of bacon onto the vanilla sugar and press down on it to lightly coat it in the sugar, then flip over and repeat on the other side. Lay on a wire rack and repeat with the rest of the bacon slices. Sprinkle them lightly with any remaining sugar. Sit the rack on a baking sheet and bake the bacon for about 16-18 minutes until crisp and brown. Remove and leave to cool, then snip into small pieces.
Tip This soup thickens on cooling. Add a splash of milk or stock when reheating to achieve your desired consistency.
- Add the stock to the pan of cooked beans, bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then remove the bay leaves. Leave to cool slightly then blend, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve back into a pan. Stir in the cream if using, and season generously. Bring back to a gentle simmer.
- To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil, ground black pepper and the crumbled candied vanilla bacon.
A topping of candied vanilla bacon transforms this soup from the everyday to the sublime