Cream of Carrot Soup with Canario Beans

This is one of the best soups I've made in a long time - the perfect hearty meal for a cold winter evening - especially with a couple warm slices of Mom's raisin bread and homemade butter!

I have a pantry full of Warren Creek Farm beans - I took about 25 pounds with me when I left California. I could go on and on about how good they are, what an amazing farmer Paul from Warren Creek is, and how honored I am to have known him, but I won't bore you.....I've got five different kinds in the pantry, and I decided to try one I hadn't had yet - Canario. I think these are a Mexican variety, although the I can't find any good information about their heritage. They're very pale yellow and pretty large, with little brown circles around their eyes.

I started the beans soaking before I left for work in the morning. They had swollen to about double their dry size when I got home in the afternoon.

I started by sauteing an assortment of onions and shallots with the leftover local bacon that I had thawed out for the roasted roots I made this weekend. I used up some odds and ends from my pantry - a few small red Cippolini onions, a few shallots, and a small yellow (Copra) onion - all local of course.

Once the onions and bacon were really cooking, I chopped up a bunch of local carrots and added them to the mix.....I'm always really reluctant to peel root veggies - so much of the nutrition is in the peel - so I just scrubbed them with a vegetable brush and used them skin and all.

Here are the veggies and bacon. I added a little bit of cayenne and cooked it all at medium heat till the carrots were just beginning to get soft.

Next, I added some dried thyme (oh how I miss the fresh herbs that are so easy to grow year-round in California!) the soaked beans, and 2 quarts of beautiful chicken stock that I had made from the carcass of the chicken that we brined last month. I let this all cook for about an hour and a half.

When the beans and carrots were really tender I pureed them lightly with my hand blender. I wanted it to be creamy, but with a few chunks so you could tell what you were eating.

I stirred in a few cups of heavy cream.....

.....seasoned it to taste with a little salt and pepper and a tiny bit of white wine vinegar to give it a little zing.....

...and here it is! A beautiful hearty winter soup!

Cream of Carrot Soup with Canario Beans and Bacon

1 cup or so chopped onions or shallots, or both (garlic would be good too!)
4 slices uncured bacon, cut into little pieces
5 or 6 cups chopped carrots
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoons dried thyme (or fresh if you have it)
2 to 3 cups dried Canario beans, soaked. (If no Canario beans, substitute any white bean.)
2 quarts chicken stock
2 or 3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar would work well too.)
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions or shallots in butter, add bacon and cook until onions get limp. Add carrots, cayenne, and thyme and cook for about 10 minutes, until carrots begin to get tender. Add soaked beans and stock and cook for about 90 minutes, until beans and carrots are very tender. Puree soup lightly. Add cream. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper, and serve!

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  1. here's some info on the beans: http://tinyurl.com/adr9fq

  2. Thanks Melanie!This is great info!!

  3. that soup looks amazing! Will have to try the recipe. We wanted to let you know we tagged you in a recent post. Check out www.lovefeasttable.com We will add you to our blogroll if that is okay with you!
    Kristin and Chris Ann

  4. Thanks Kristin and Chris Ann! Yes, of course you can add me to your blogroll. I've been meaning to add one to my blog, and when I do I'll put you on there. Nice blog, by the way!

  5. Hi Megan!

    I'm in Humboldt County and just discovered Paul and Warren Creek Farms this morning, before I googled and found your blog (I found Paul on Google also). I called Paul and will be going out to the farm this week to purchase some of his beans -- I can't wait!! I'm so happy to find a local source of dried beans. Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious, so will have to give it a go with some of the canario beans that will surely come home with me from the farm. I've bookmarked your blog and will have to come back and read about your locavore experiment. Thanks for the inspiration!! = } Deb

  6. Hi Deb! I'm glad you found me. I'm a huge fan of Paul's beans - they're one of the things I miss the most about living in Humboldt Co. Tell him I said hi when you see him! - Megan

  7. Will tell Paul you said hi = } Deb


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