Bean and Bacon Soup w/ Maple Smoked Cheddar Sandwiches
When I was a kid one of my dad's favorite soups was Campbell's Bean and Bacon. To this day I will even eat a can if I find one in the back of the cupboards... but after making this soup I'm not sure I will. This is amazing... it's comfort food at its best... and its easy... and CHEAP!
After seeing this post for a crock pot version I've had it on the brain.
The Cook, The Dishwasher, and the Cookbooks
So here is my version of a Campbell's style Bean and Bacon Soup.
Bean And Bacon Soup
1 lb dry northern beans
8 cups good chicken stock (homemade is best but if you have boxed go with low sodium)
1 cup apple cider (I used a locally made cider)
1 smoked ham hock (adds a great salty smokey flavor to any soup!)
2 carrots peeled chopped
1 large yellow onion chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
8 slices cooked crispy bacon
In a large pan or bowl soak beans overnight or use the quick soak directions on the back of the bean bag.
After the beans soak give a quick rinse and on low heat add them to chicken stock with ham hock. Cook on low for 2 hours.
Add in onion carrots cider and thyme.
Continue cooking on low for another 2-4 hours.
When beans are tender remove ham hock and thyme sprigs.
Take your immersion blender and blend about half of your soup make sure to leave some beans and carrots whole. (if you don't have one transfer 1/2 your soup into a food processor or blender and puree then return to pot)
Crumble crispy bacon in just before serving or add to top of soup after you have put it into its serving bowls. The soup has a great smokey pork flavor from the ham hock so there is no need to add in bacon earlier in the cooking process... this way it stays crispy and adds some crunch to each bite of soup!
Maple Smoked Cheddar Sandwiches
Take slices of your favorite artisan bread slice it thinly, butter both sides and bake for about 5-10 minutes on 400. Until it's golden.
Place slices of your favorite sharp cheddar cheese and top with a 2nd slice of toasted bread.
I used a VT (gotta keep it local) maple smoked sharp cheddar.
Place back in the oven for about 2-5 minutes until cheese is melted.