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Slow Cooker Bean and Bacon Soup

INGREDIENTS :
4 slices bacon
2-3 large carrots, peeled & chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
3 cans white beans (such as Great Northern), drained & rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
1 T. dried parsley

INSTRUCTIONS :
Fry bacon until crisp or in the microwave. Remove & set aside.
Over medium heat, add 1 T. oil (if you cooked bacon in microwave, otherwise, use the bacon fat), and add carrots, celery & onion and saute’ for about 7 minutes. Add garlic & saute’ about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add salt & pepper.
Add 2 cans beans, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Cover the slow cooker & cook on low for 8 hours or on medium for 4-5 hours.
For the last 30 minutes, uncover & remove bay leaf. Mash the last can of beans & add to the slow cooker, along with the parsley. Heat through.

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