Great Northern Bean Soup, what’s not to love … and with bacon? White beans simmered and flavored with carrot, celery, onion and Herbs. Add bacon and you’ve got a great dinner for a crisp Fall evening. Cooking the beans in the slow cooker all day makes this an easy fix for dinner.
If you have a thing for bacon, the Internet will gladly return about a zillion recipes to use for this popular ingredient. But if you have a thing for the slightly less rock star white bean, there aren’t that many ways to use them. Soup? Oh, or maybe a salad or two.
I simply can’t resist buying beans, something about them brings out the comfort in me.
And I love picking up white beans, Navy Beans, Great Northern Beans, Cannellini Beans. They’re easy to cook and creamy by nature. For this soup recipe I chose Great Northern Beans. A bit larger than Navy Beans but smaller than Cannellini beans, medium-sized Great Northern beans are known for their mild, nutty flavor and firm flesh. Great in soups and stews, they hold their shape better than Navy beans, take on the flavors of the foods they’re cooked with, and are commonly used in French cassoulets. And speaking of French cassoulets, it’s on my list of things to make.
So before we get to this Great Northern Bean Soup, let’s talk about our Fall trip to view the Aspens.
This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to the Buena Vista area to take in the color extravaganza show that our Colorado Aspen’s put on each Fall. A side trip found us wandering up a dirt road on our way to St. Elmo, a ghost town in the middle of our Sawatch Mountain Range. Founded in 1880, nearly 2,000 people settled in this town when mining for gold and silver started. Even though St. Elmo is considered a ghost town it is still inhabited. The old mining roads are now used as 4-wheeling trails and Chalk Creek attracts fishing.
The town is well preserved, the General Store is open in the Summer months and it’s an easy and scenic drive. And of course, there’s the legend that the ghost of Annabelle Stark lives on with the part-time residents, believing that she continues to protect her property from vandals or trespassers. This is a photo of a cabin inside the town limits.
The Fall colors triggered the need for a perfect Fall soup as soon as we arrived back in Highlands Ranch. This fit the bill perfect.
Recipe for Great Northern Bean Soup with Bacon
I hope you give this Great Northern Bean Soup recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and let me know how you liked it and give the recipe a star rating.
Your feedback is valuable to me for developing future recipes. And if you have a favorite Crock Pot Great Northern Bean Soup Recipe, or any white bean soup recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Soup Recipes with White Beans
- 1 pound Dried Great Northern Beans rinsed and sorted
- 7 cups chicken stock divided
- 1 1/4 pounds thick-sliced bacon cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion finely chopped
- 2 large carrot rough chopped
- 3 celery ribs rough chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Wash beans and pick out any misfits. Place beans in a crock pot and cover with 3 cups of chicken stock. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender. Check crock pot periodically to make sure beans don't go dry. Add more stock if necessary.
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving the fat and bacon separately.
Heat the olive oil in the soup pot. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and any liquid left in the crockpot. Add remaining stock and 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat and bring to a boil.
Simmer the soup over low heat until the flavors have married. About 30 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf and season the soup with salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls.
Garnish the soup with the bacon and serve.
Crazy about soups like we are? This is one of our favorites, and it’s e-a-s-y
Great Northern Bean Soup with Bacon and Herbs …It’s What’s For Dinner