Submitted by: Marlys and Glenn
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You may make this soup with sweet potatoes and other types of dried beans. Use whatever you’ve got.
¼ pound hickory-cured slab bacon, with rind, cut into 3/8-inch dice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ small onion, diced small
½ large carrot, peeled and diced small
1 celery rib, diced small
6 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 medium leeks, white parts only, carefully washed and cut into ½-inch rounds
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 can (10½ ounces) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Cover bacon with water in a large pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and press dry in paper towels. Wipe out pot and return bacon.
(We are not sure that first step is necessary--start here if you want.) Fry bacon until golden and crisp over medium-low heat, about 4 minutes. Remove to a paper towel and reserve. Discard all rendered fat except 2 teaspoons. Add butter and return to heat. When foamy, add onion, carrot and celery, sauté until brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock, reserved bacon, salt and pepper. Simmer, skimming foam, for 5 minutes. Add leeks and potatoes. Simmer 5 minutes then add red bell pepper. Continue cooking, skimming as needed, until potatoes are just tender when pierced with the point of a knife, about 5 more minutes.
Add bacon and simmer for another minute or so. Correct seasoning, turn off the heat, and allow the soup to sit 30 minutes before serving.
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