We had Greek Pizza, Chips and Queso, Lil' Smokies and Bacon and Bean Soup.
The recipe I'd like to highlight is the Bacon and Bean Soup. This did not sound like something I would flip over but oh man it was GREAT. I don't think I got a picture of it, and even if I did I can tell you now that it doesn't photograph well. The blog I used for my recipe took a great photo, follow link above. This soup is especially appropriate during the cold weather we are having all over the country. In true HWM fashion I took some liberties with the recipe, see my rendition below.
BACON & BEAN SOUP
•An entire package of bacon (not the enormous package, just the regular size)
•1 large diced yellow onion
•1 cup or so of diced carrots (4-ish)
•1 cup diced celery (2-4 stalks)
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•4 cups chicken broth (I use water and add Better than Bouillon)
•3 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
•salt and pepper
•1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
Cook the bacon in the oven on a cookie cooling rack set above a jelly roll pan. Trust me, this is the ONLY way I cook bacon in my house. Lay them in a single layer, cook at 350 for 30 minutes and flip half way through the cooking time. The bacon gets crisp (even the fatty parts) and the grease drips down through the rack and onto the pan (where you should then scrape it into a mason jar to keep in your fridge if you live in the South.) Roughly chop bacon and set aside (try not to eat it while you prepare the soup.)
Add about 2 T of the bacon grease to a dutch oven or large stock pot. Over medium heat add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook until they start to soften and barely brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in the chicken broth and beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble then reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for 1 hour.
3.Using an emulsion blender (stick blender) whirl a few times to puree roughly half the soup. You can also carefully ladle half of the soup to a blender or food processor. Add the tomato sauce and ¾ of the reserved bacon and stir to combine. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer until it is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve topped with the remaining bacon.