Navy Bean, Bacon, and Spinach Soup

Navy Bean, Bacon and Spinach Soup (Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker or Stove Top)

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 15 oz cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (I used a bouquet garni for tosing)
  • 3 cups baby spinach

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a blender, blend 1 can of beans with 1 cup of water.
  2. Press Saute button then cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside on paper towels.
  3. Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste then add the pureed beans, beans, broth, rosemary and bay leaves.
  4. Cook on high pressure 15 minutes. Let the pressure release, remove rosemary and bay leaves. Place 2 cups of the soup in the blender and puree to thicken, then add back to the soup along with the spinach and stir until wilted. To serve, ladle into 6 bowls and top with bacon.
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Corn Chowder Salad

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/08/corn-chowder-salad/

4 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces), cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice, although I made mine smaller
6 large or 8 medium ears of corn, kernels removed (I used 8 large and it was a massive salad)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Salt and crushed red pepper to taste

Cook bacon: In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until it is crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels and let drain.

Fry potatoes, peppers and corn: Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over moderately high heat until they start to brown, about about 3 to 6 minutes. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until almost tender; they’ll finish cooking with the other vegetables. Add the diced red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring, until heated through but still crisp, about 3 minutes.

Assemble and serve: Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the onion, cider vinegar and bacon. Season with red pepper and salt to taste. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
  

Cobb Salad

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/04/classic-cobb-salad/

Serves 4 to 6

Dressing (Heads up: I found I only needed half of this)
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 bunch watercress, some of the stems trimmed, chopped
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (we used a Stilton)
6 strips cooked bacon, roughly chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium tomatoes, peeled*, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chives, minced

Make the dressing: Combine the canola oil, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, sugar, and garlic in a blender. Purée the ingredients to make a smooth dressing and season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Make the salad: On a (very) large platter, combine the iceberg and romaine lettuces along with the watercress. Arrange the blue cheese, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, chicken, and avocado on top of the greens in neat rows. To serve, drizzle salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and top with chives. Alternatively, toss everything together in a bowl.

Do ahead: Salad dressing keeps, covered and refrigerated, for up to one week. Individual ingredients (except the avocado, which is too prone to browning) can be prepped and chopped, and kept in separate containers in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad. However, no doubt due to sturdiness of 2/3 of the lettuces, I found that the entire assembled salad kept surprisingly well wrapped in plastic in the fridge for a few hours.

Potato Soup

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/perfect-potato-soup/

  • 6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in batches in a blender/food process until completely smooth. (***USE CAUTION WHEN BLENDING HOT SOUP; IF POSSIBLE, ALLOW THE SOUP TO COOL BEFORE BLENDING***) Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.

Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.