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Cannellini Tuscan Bean Soup

Cannellini Tuscan Bean Soup:
4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 - 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

Topping:
2 T. olive oil
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 c. fresh basil, sliced
salt to taste

In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook bacon, carrot, onion and celery for about 5 to 7 minutes.  Don't get the bacon crispy...it will be blended into the soup.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute.  Add beans.  Add the chicken broth, wine, bay leaf and about 1 t. salt.  Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and smooth with an immersion blender.  Adjust seasoning. Topping: In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add minced garlic, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt until garlic is ever so slightly browned around the edges.  Take off the heat and add basil.  Stir it around until basil is wilted.  Add a dollop on each bowl of soup.
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