Food and Wine publishes a recipe for Great Northern bean soup by Jose Garces. The recipe calls for thick sliced bacon, an onion, a carrot, garlic cloves and Great Northern beans, along with chicken stock, celery, thyme and rosemary.
Cut 1/4 pounds of thick-sliced bacon into 1/4 inch strips and cook over moderate heat in a large soup pot. Stir for about seven minutes until browned and crisp. Drain the bacon, reserve the fat, and set both aside.
Add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in the soup pot and heat. Add 1 finely chopped Spanish onion, 1 finely diced carrot, and 2 finely diced celery ribs to the pot and cook over medium heat. Cook for about eight minutes until the vegetables become soft, then stir in 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 fresh bay leaf and 1 teaspoon each of chopped thyme and chopped rosemary. Cook for about two minutes until fragrant.
Add 1 pound of Great Northern beans that have been soaked overnight and drained to the pot with 10 cups of chicken stock and 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderately low heat for about 90 minutes, until the beans become tender. Discard the bay leaf, stir in 1 teaspoon each of chopped fresh thyme and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, pour the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the bacon.