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White bean soup with candied vanilla bacon


Makes: 2 hrs 30 mins, plus soaking
Serves: 4
timePrep time: 15 mins
White bean soup with candied vanilla bacon
Recipe photograph by Tara Fisher

White bean soup with candied vanilla bacon


Makes: 2 hrs 30 mins, plus soaking
Serves: 4
timePrep time: 15 mins

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
547Kcal
Fat
24gr
Saturates
7gr
Carbs
47gr
Sugars
13gr
Fibre
19gr
Protein
26gr
Salt
2.1gr

Debbie Major

Debbie Major

Cook, writer and food stylist, Debbie's reputation for foolproof, delicious recipes is second to none. She is renowned for her dedication to seasonal home cooking and her love of all things rustic and authentic. Simplicity over cheffy is her motto!
See more of Debbie Major’s recipes
Debbie Major

Debbie Major

Cook, writer and food stylist, Debbie's reputation for foolproof, delicious recipes is second to none. She is renowned for her dedication to seasonal home cooking and her love of all things rustic and authentic. Simplicity over cheffy is her motto!
See more of Debbie Major’s recipes

Ingredients

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

Step by step

Get ahead
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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Chef quote
A topping of candied vanilla bacon transforms this soup from the everyday to the sublime

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