Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Portuguese-Style Chicken Bean Bacon Soup

I googled chicken and bean soup recipes the other night.  I had 10 ounces of defrosted chicken left over from another recipe and a couple of cups of cooked navy beans.  They needed to be used in something soon.

I found a few recipes that looked promising.  This Portuguese-style soup had the most ingredients I had on hand: onion, celery, bacon, broth, cheese (along with the chicken and beans, of course).  I had to skip the shallots and I threw in a bit of carrot.  Not a whole lot of spice, mostly onion and garlic for flavor.  The addition of cayenne caught my attention.

I had to modify the recipe a bit, since my beans were already cooked and the chicken was raw. Then I misread the last bit of the recipe and stirred the cheese into the pot rather than garnishing each bowl.  Worked fine as far as I'm concerned, although I had to scrape some off the bottom of the pot when putting away the leftovers.

The soup was quite tasty.  Of course, it's hard to go wrong with bacon.  This recipe will go on my keeper list.

Portuguese-Style White Bean Soup with Chicken and Bacon
(Adapted from Emerils.com)

2½ cups of cooked Navy beans (or other white bean) **See note below
½ lb bacon, cut into ½" wide pieces
¾ lbs chicken breast, cut into ½" pieces
2 medium onions, diced
4 to 5 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp salt, to taste
⅛ tsp cayenne (¼ tsp if you like the heat)
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup grated Parmesan

Fry the bacon in a heavy medium stockpot over medium-high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to lift onto paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pot.  Add the chicken, onions, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 4 minutes).  Add the garlic, salt, and cayenne.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute.

Add the beans to the pot with the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, 30-40 minutes.

Stir in the reserved bacon and heat through.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

** Note:  2½ cups of cooked beans is roughly a half pound dry beans that have been cooked, or two cans of canned beans, rinsed.


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