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Bean and Bacon Soup

2 c Pinto beans (dried)
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
4 Bacon slices, cut in squares
4 Carrots, chopped
4 Celery stalks, chopped
1/2 ts Thyme (dried)
1 Garlic clove, minced
4 oz Can of tomato paste
2 tb Olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 tb Wine vinegar

The approximate cooking time is 3 hours.

Cover the washed beans with 6-8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 1 hour and then simmer while still covered. Stir about every 15 minutes for the ENTIRE time the beans are cooking.

After the beans have been cooking for about 1 hour and 45 minutes chop the onion and celery and carrots. Slice the four slices of bacon into 1" squares. Saute the onion, celery and bacon squares in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add to the beans along with the thyme, chopped carrots and tomato paste. Simmer uncovered for another hour until the beans are tender and slightly mash the beans. Add the salt, pepper and wine vinegar before serving.

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