An April Sunday night dinner when Monday’s forecast is for snow.

An April Sunday night dinner when Monday’s forecast is for snow.

Wow — we just can’t seem to make spring come to life in northern Michigan this year.  We’ve had a small taste, but every time it seems like things are getting started, it all comes crashing down, in the form of white stuff.  Tomorrow’s forecast calls for an inch of snow and today, it’s gray and in the low 40’s, so I decided to make a bean soup I’ve been thinking about for awhile.  I made some modifications to a Tuscan White Bean Soup recipe that I found here.  It is really delicious and warm and it is comforting me as I long for spring days, sunshine, and burgers on the grill.

White Bean and Bacon Soup

3 slices of bacon

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots peeled and diced

3 celery stalks, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

A dash of red pepper flakes

4 cups of chicken broth

1 small piece of parmesan rind

2 15-oz cans of canellini beans (I used 4 cups of dried beans I had previously cooked and frozen)

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 cup of chopped kale

salt & pepper to taste

Throw the bacon into a soup pot along with the onion and start to render the fat.  After a few minutes, add a tablespoon of olive oil, along with the carrots and celery.  Cook until slightly softened about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes, along with the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the chicken stock and beans and bring to a boil.  Take the leaves off of the rosemary sprigs and chop finely.  Throw the sprigs and the chopped leaves, as well as the parmesan rind into the soup.  Add the chopped kale.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Fish out the rosemary stems and serve!  (If you like a creamier soup, you can use an immersion blender to puree part of the beans.)