- 1 lb. of cannellini or great northern beans, dried
- 1–2 slices of bacon (I used Applewood-smoked)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 4 sage leaves
- 2 quarts of low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- salt + pepper
- garlic croutons
- shaved parmesan cheese
- crusty sourdough bread
* Soak the beans overnight before you begin.
- To soak, place the beans into a large bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight.
- In a heavy bottom pot, warm the olive oil over moderate heat. Roughly chop the bacon and add to the pot. Saute until lightly golden.
- Add the onion, celery, garlic, and sage leaves. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Tilt the pot, and remove most of the residual oil with a spoon.
- Drain the beans and add to the pot.
- Cover with 1 quart of chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the beans are tender about 1- 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.
- For the creamy version, remove half of the soup (with a portion of bacon and sage) and transfer to a blender. Vent the lid and puree in batches. Add additional chicken stock if it’s too thick. Alternatively, use a hand held immersion blender. Garnish with parmesan cheese and croutons.
- For the chunky version, adjust with salt and pepper to taste, and more stock if needed.
- Serve warm with crusty sourdough bread.