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Navy Bean Bacon Chowder

1 1/2 c Dried navy beans (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 c Cold water
1 sm Turnip
6 sl Bacon
5 c Chicken broth
1 md Onion, chopped
1 ea Rib celery, chopped
1 t Dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 t Salt
1/8 t Ground black pepper
1 md Carrot, chopped
1 c Milk


Rinse beans thoroughly in colander under cold running water, picking out any debris or blemished beans. Combine beans and water in Dutch oven or large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cover and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, about 1 hour. Or, soak beans in water in a bowl overnight in the refrigerator. Remove peel from turnip with vegetable peeler and cut into cubes. Cook bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy, drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon when cool enough to handle. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish. Drain beans; discard water. Return beans to Dutch oven. Add chicken broth, onion, turnip, celery, cooked bacon, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir carrot into soup; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Carefully ladle 2 cups of hot soup into food processor or blender; cover and process until mixture is smoth. Pour pureed mixture into Dutch oven. Stir in milk. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with reserved bacon.


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