Monday, December 19, 2011

Shells with Bacon and White Beans

I am one of those people who eats soup year round. I honestly have a bowl almost every lunch time thanks to a few amazing NJ diner's who have 5 or 6 choices year round. Soup is one of the best meals out there. You can make it with just about anything - just throw some meat, vegetables, noodles, beans in a pot with some water or broth and you have a delicious meal that can be reheated over and over. I am trying to break my habit of going out to lunch every afternoon and so I have started to make a big batch on the weekend that I can then store in individual containers that I grab on my way out the door.

This soup was a little more thought out than usual...  I even made sure to have the bacon on hand and defrosted so no running the package under water for 10 minutes before I can start cooking. I saw the inspiration for this recipe earlier in the week on the kitchn and decided that I just had to make it. I went a bit more traditional for the pasta fagioli by including some diced tomatoes but you don't have to....and that is the beauty of soup!

Shells w Bacon and White Bean Soup
1/2 lb medium shells - cooked as per box
1 1/2 box of chicken broth
16 oz can diced tomatoes
2 x 14.5 oz can canellini beans
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 onion - diced
3 carrots - diced
3 ribs celery - diced
5 sliced bacon - diced
4 cloves of garlic

1) In a large stock pot, begin to cook bacon
2) Once much of the fat has been rendered and bacon is beginning to cook remove pieces of bacon while leaving fat in pan
3) Add carrots, onions and celery - let cook down for 5 min
4) Add garlic and lightly brown till fragrant
5) Add tomatoes, beans and broth and let it come to a simmer
6) Once at simmer, reduce heat and add shells, spinach and bacon
7) Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese if desired