I’ve recently started saving the rendered fat from my solar cooked bacon and am always on the look out for ways to use it. If you don’t have any on hand, double the amount of olive oil in this recipe. The soup will still be good; just a little less bacony. Any type of white bean will also work, but my favorite is the Mayocoba (also know as Peruano or Canario).
Bacon Bean Soup
1 pound dried Mayocoba beans (or other white bean), picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2-inch thick slice salt pork
8 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Crumbled cooked bacon for serving (optional)
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, bacon fat, and rosemary. Add the salt pork, drained beans, and chicken broth. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beans are soft, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and discard the salt pork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle crumbled bacon on each serving (if using).
Makes 12 servings.