I can’t imagine a better dish to comfort me on a cold, dreary day! Have you tried this recipe already? Let us know in the comments how it turned out for you!
If you’d rather make a vegetarian version of this recipe, it’s super easy. Just omit the bacon and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Serve this hearty stew with some homemade crusty bread. This is also a great make ahead meal since the leftovers just keep getting better after a day in the fridge!
12 oz. bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 Tbsp Bertolli olive oil
1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Pinch or two sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
6 (15 oz.) cans small white beans or navy beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups Swanson chicken stock, hot
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven, in a drizzle of olive oil, then remove with a slotted spoon, drain it on a paper towel, and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.
Add olive oil and butter into the pot along with the bacon fat, allow them to melt together.
Add in the diced onion, carrots and celery, and allow them to soften and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in about 2/3 of the reserved, crisped bacon, as well as the Italian seasoning, the sea salt and the pepper, along with the white beans, and stir to combine.
Add in the hot chicken stock, stir, and allow the stew to gently simmer for about 40-45 minutes, partially covered.
Half way through the cooking process, mash the beans a little bit with the back of your spoon, to break them up and release their natural starch to thicken the stew.
After about 40 minutes, turn the heat off and finish the stew by adding in the chopped parsley, the lemon zest and the lemon juice.
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Quick tip: This stew tastes even better the next day!