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posted: 10/23/2013 6:04 AM

Chill Chasin' White Bean Soup

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6 ounces (about 6-8 slices) uncured pork bacon, cut into small dice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

small head green cabbage, cut into large dice

1 large (about 5 ounces) onion, chopped

4 medium carrots (about 10-12 ounces) peeled and diced

teaspoon sea salt

teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper (or to taste)

2 tablespoons (about 6 cloves) minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or 4 teaspoons fresh)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained (reserve juice for another purpose)

7 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth (preferably organic)

2 cans (15 ounces each) navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup toasted bread crumbs

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Place a 6-to-8 quart stock pot over medium heat and add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until a light golden brown and crisp, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and with a slotted spoon remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Drain and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Raise heat to medium-high, return the pot to the heat and add cabbage; cooking and stirring occasionally until limp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the cabbage to another plate or bowl. Set aside.

Add olive oil to the pot and when hot add the onions, carrots, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and the vegetables are beginning to brown around their edges, about 8 or 9 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary and cumin and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cabbage and chicken broth to the pot. Stir well and bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve the soup garnished with the bacon, toasted bread crumbs and cheese. Serves six to eight.

Nutrition values per serving (assumes 8): 310 calories (32.6 percent from fat), 11.2 g fat (3.6 g saturated), 37 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 17 g protein, 20 mg cholesterol, 1,010 mg sodium.

SaltSense: Using low sodium chicken broth will reduce sodium per serving to 648 mg.

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