Bean and Unbacon Soup
1 large sweet, Spanish, white or yellow onion, sliced
1 cup dry navy or white pea beans (2 cups cooked)
1 to 3 tablespoons oil
2 bay leaves
Fresh pepper, to taste
2 quarts vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fake bacon bits, or to taste
1 medium starchy potato (left over mashers or boiled are fine too)
2 tablespoons parsley
To really save time soak your beans in the fridge overnight. If not, this takes 3 hours to cook instead of two.
1) Put the soaked beans into a large 3 quart pot, add the bay leaf, pepper and stock or water. Stir and bring up to a boil then turn down to a steady simmer. DO NOT SALT THIS.
2) In the mean time, get a nonstick fry pan and put the olive oil and sliced onions into it over a medium heat, caramelize the onions until golden brown. This could take up to 30 minutes. This is a labor of love but worth it in the flavor it creates for the soup. Add the bacon bits, caramelized onions, parsley, potato (chopped if raw) and the nutritional yeast flakes to the soup. Check on it to make sure it maintains the level of stock or water, stir as well.
3) Simmer until a bean tested is cooked through and the skins split. Mash the soup a bit with a potato masher to make a textural change. Don't puree it you want the rustic texture.
4) Now you can finally taste it for salt, but only after those beans are completely cooked. It will inhibit them from cooking if you salt them before they are cooked.
You can play with amounts this is a very basic guide line to follow. Sometimes the yeast is more added at the end too, or more bacon bits. Don't be afraid to play with it and make it your own. We've enjoyed this one served with good crusty bread or buns. You can sub out other beans as well.
Its typically better after a whole afternoon simmer or the next day.
Source of recipe: I have always missed that smokey flavor of real bacon, so I created a vegan yes vegan version of this old favorite.