Californian Springtime Soup (for cold weather)

Here is another recipe I put together last night.  we have some fairly bitter dandelion greens from our CSA box, and I wanted a “white bean” soup to provide richness and balance the flavor.  In my mind, bacon was definitely part of the equation as well.   Here’s what I came up with, will be eating some tonight so will report back.

-3 slices bacon
-3 stalks green garlic, sliced finely
-1 medium onion, chopped fine
-8 red-skinned potatoes, cut into half inch cubes
-1 cup dried lima beans
-1 quart chicken stock, preferably home made
-a few sprigs thyme
-salt, pepper to taste

**Gruyere Cheese, for shaving

before:  Rinse lima beans and remove anything that looks like it doesn’t belong there.  put lima beans in 3 inches of water, bring to a boil.  Let simmer for a few minutes, covered, then turn off heat but keep pan on the stove with the cover on, for ~2 hours.

Chop the bacon slices into very small pieces.  In soup pot on medium heat, cook the bacon until alot of the fat has been rendered out (in other words, the fat basically melts into oil, leaving behind the meat, which will eventually turn dark brown like bacon bits). Do not allow to burn!  Add green garlic, chopped fine.  add onion and cook until the veggies are translucent.  As the veggies are “sweating” at this point, you should be able to use the liquid which comes out to scrape off any fond, or carmelized bacon juice, from the bottom of the pot.  🙂 Add potatoes & thyme, cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add chicken stock, lima beans, and some of the bean water as well.  bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 hours.  season with Salt & pepper.  finally, add the dandelion greens, and possibly some toasted bread crumbs to thicken.  (you could also dip chunks of bread if you like).  enjoy!

Update: Hubby and I had this soup last night and it is a winner.  The finishing touch is to shave some gruyere cheese on top of each soup bowl, ideally while it is piping hot so that the cheese melts on top.   It’s delicious.

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