Cream of Bean and Vegetable Soup
1 1/2 cups dry white pea beans
5 slices bacon – cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups onion – chopped
3/4 cup celery – diced
6 cups liquid from beans plus water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 cups milk
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3/4 cup grated carrots or other vegetable
Soak beans. For each cup of beans add 2 1/2 cups (625 ml-750 ml) of water. Let stand 12 hours or overnight. Or, for quick soak, slowly bring to a boil and boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving liquid.
Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain. SautÃ© onion and celery in bacon fat until onion is transparent. Add bean liquid, beans and seasonings. Cover and cook until beans are tender and water is almost absorbed (about 2 hours). Add milk, parsley and carrot. Bring to boil. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Use diced cooked vegetables for a different variation.