Cooking Light JANUARY 2000
Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans.
Cook the bacon in pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble and set aside. Add bell pepper and the next 8 ingredients (bell pepper through minced garlic) to drippings in pan; sauté 10 minutes or until browned. Stir in the broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add beans. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender.
Place 3 cups of the bean mixture in a blender, and process until smooth. Return the pureéd mixture to pan. Stir in the bacon and parsley.
Note: This soup will freeze well for up to two months. Pour into an airtight container, leaving enough room for expansion (usually an inch or two at the top). To reheat, thaw completely in the refrigerator; then place contents in a saucepan over low heat, adding some liquid if necessary.
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